There is no question that to reduce the risk of a data breach and to comply with data protection laws, companies must destroy sensitive materials when it is no longer needed. Some small businesses think it is less expensive and easier to do it themselves, but unforeseen costs including money, time, and security all become apparent. Most staff cannot be bothered with using a shredder which are usually slow and jam easily, so papers are often tossed casually in the garbage. When using a professional shredding company your sensitive material is removed and handled by trained professionals. Also, a Certificate of Destruction is essential if a business is asked to provide evidence that their confidential information was securely destroyed. Using an in-house shredder provides no real proof. Compared to the cost of outsourcing secure shredding services, an office shredder can be an unexpected financial drain, with ongoing maintenance, repair and replacement. Employees also have to take time away from their work to shred documents and increase the risk of a costly security breach. It can be tempting to retain and store every document your company may ever need but this approach is never cost effective. This becomes even more wasteful as the amount of information your business generates continues to grow. Just as you need to identify and store important files, you also need to identify those that don’t need storage and can be destroyed. Physical destruction is the only 100% secure way to permanently destroy confidential data on a hard drive which cannot be done with store bought shredders.
Once you have considered using a professional document destruction company, rice should only be part of your decision. It is just as important to understand the cost of a security breach to your business and to feel confident that the company you choose has the experience to help protect your business, customers and employees. Make sure the company has expertise in the industry and their employees have undergone training and background checks. They must have a secure chain of custody for shredding your confidential documents on and off-site the premises. Have the company you choose provide references and proof that there are no security breaches in their history. These factors will help when evaluating the right security and budgetary fit for your business.
Besides the environmental impact, it is not a good idea for any business to simply throw away old documents. There are federal and state regulations that mandate the secure destruction of many types of information; social security numbers, medical records and other industry specific data. There is also your own companies secure data to consider. Any information that your business or your customers might consider confidential cannot pass through your existing recycling program. Secure, locked shredding consoles may be another option for your business. Your employees dispose of sensitive material in special locked bins. The shredding service picks up the bins on a regular basis in a secure vehicle to a secure shredding facility. The documents are then shredded beyond recognition It then goes to a pulping mill for recycling. These factors all help determine the best plan for your business when deciding on your document destruction needs.
By Liz Geller, Marketing Director
Published in HIA Hauppauge Industrial Association Newsletter -