Fundamental to your organisation’s ongoing success is the security and the protection of your confidential data. An unfortunate reality we all have to deal with however (every day, for some) is the inevitability of human error.

We trip, we’re clumsy, we’re forgetful, we get sick, we get hungry, tired, irritable, overtired, hyperactive, indecisive, confused, allergic, caffeine-dependent, overwhelmed. There’s an immeasurable amount of ways we get in our own way. A tough pill for your organisation to swallow is the knowledge that data breaches are becoming increasingly common. It can seem even more frustrating to know that 40% of breaches are due to human error. Oops.

Marrying the inevitability of human error with the fundamental importance of your data’s security may seem like a match made in hell, however, there are some strategies you can employ to safeguard against breach or loss of information. As most organisations still deal with large volumes of confidential paperwork, it’s imperative that a data protection strategy is well planned and employed from the moment data is created through to the moment it’s destroyed. One of the most effective and secure means of protecting your data is by educating employees on the potential risks and providing the tools and necessary know-how to reduce them.

The cost of a data breach is a constant issue. Research conducted by IBM Security and the Ponemon Institute found that between 2016 and 2017, companies reported larger breaches with the average size increasing by 1.8%. The average total organisational cost was $3.62 million within the same period of time.

When a cost is avoidable, any price is too high to pay. In particular though, the associated direct and indirect costs of a data breach is notably high, so it’s important to form any sort of defence you can to protect your organisation, your employees and your customers.

When it comes to document security, you can start by introducing and implementing a ‘shred-all’ policy for your organisation. This has little to do with a physical training program and a lot more to do with ensuring your organisation’s confidential documents are regularly shredded and recycled in a secure and environmental manner.

Benefits of Shredding it All:

  • A shred-all policy strengthens your organisation’s privacy policy and confidentiality by creating awareness through a mandatory, defined procedure for all employees to follow.
  • A single policy allows you to reduce the decision making process, sparing your employees the trouble of trying to work out what is and isn’t confidential and subsequently what needs to be shredded.
  • Consistent procedure reduces the likelihood of a data breach.
  • Consistent procedure increases compliance with privacy policies and other industry regulations.
  • A shred-all policy protects proprietary information including customer and employee information, ultimately building employee and customer trust and loyalty.

The ‘shred-all’ policy should be driven from the top at an executive level, ultimately they will be held accountable should a data breach occur. Taking a top down approach, the policy should be communicated effectively throughout the organisation, empowering employees with the information they need.

Having understood the importance and inherent benefits of a ‘shred-all’ policy, it’s only a matter of knowing how to start!

To get going:

  • Engage with a secure shredding partner who you can trust to regularly shred and recycle your confidential information.
  • Keep track of every document in your organisation.
  • Initiate a ‘work in progress’ period to assist employees to adjust to the new working procedures.
  • Ensure that the data protection process you have formulated can be easily implemented and incorporated into day to day use.
  • Conduct regular security checks to avoid any potential security breaches.
  • Designate a data protection champion, or manager of sorts, to promote and train all employees on the ‘shred-all’ policy.
  • Regulate and audit the procedure, reminding employees of the associated data breach risks to the organisation, employees and customers.

Your employees are an undeniably crucial part of your organisation. The more aware your employees are of every aspect of data protection, the less you’ll need to worry about data security. Empower your employees to safeguard yourself against risk, both internal or otherwise. To get started on a data protection plan that will empower your organisation and its people, get in touch with ZircoDATA at services@zircodata.com.au or call 13 ZIRCO.