How to Train Staff in Secure Document Destruction

Posted  August 06, 2021  by  Jenny Green

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How to Train Staff in Secure Document Destruction

Did you know human error remains one of the leading causes of data breaches? In 2020 alone, as many as 38% of all breaches were attributed to employee negligence, according to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) [1].

So, why is this? Part and parcel of the problem lies in the fact that bad actors know employees are the largest chink in any organisation’s security armour – and so their efforts to exploit this are unrelenting and growing ever more sophisticated.

The events of the COVID-19 pandemic have only made matters more complicated, with the added vulnerabilities of widespread remote or hybrid working thrown into the equation. But this can no longer be an excuse when it comes to security.

Data breaches can cause organisations a great deal of financial and reputational damage. In fact, recent studies suggest the 539 data breaches reported during the second half of 2020 alone could have cost compromised businesses billions of dollars in fines – $86 billion, to be precise [2].

This eye-watering sum is enough to strike fear into any business, but it needn’t have to. By improving the human firewall via security awareness training for employees, you can shore up your defences and protect your business, with some help from Shred-it.

Implementing Security Awareness Training for Employees

On the journey to training staff in secure document destruction, the first step to action is awareness. Is your workforce able to identify and confidently handle confidential documents? Understanding what is deemed confidential is an essential form of defence.

Of course, this will look different for every business. For healthcare, this could take the shape of patient medical records. For law firms, this could be anything from client depositions to police reports. For financial services, everything containing financial information can be deemed confidential.

But almost every business, regardless of shape or size will possess documents containing information about customers, employees, or the company – so it’s key to identify common examples and communicate this back to staff to elevate their understanding.

Leave Secure Document Destruction to the Professionals

Once employees are able to confidently identify documents, the next step to protecting your business is being able to securely destroy them. Companies will often opt to carry out their own shredding in-house, but this can have a detrimental impact upon security.

Because not only do office-grade shredders often cut paper into long strips that can actually be pieced back together, they also leave more room for human error. Plus, companies often overlook the hidden labour and equipment costs that come with this.

Instead, leave it to the experts. Professional shredding services don’t only ensure the secure destruction of your confidential information, if carried out on a regularly scheduled basis, it can actually be far more cost-effective (and secure) for your business.

If in Doubt, Shred-it All

Educating employees and raising awareness of what defines confidential information and the types of documents to be mindful of is important for any business. But sometimes, determining potential threats and what documents can be deemed confidential can be a time-consuming and confusing process.

By introducing a Shred-it All Policy ­– where all business documents are placed in a secure, locked console and securely destroyed once no longer needed – is a sure-fire way to reduce the burden on employees. In doing so, this is one of the most effective ways to reduce the 38% of data breaches that are still attributed to human error.

Establish a Clean Desk Policy

Before the disruption of COVID 19, it was commonplace for offices to have a Clean Desk Policy. Otherwise known as a means to encourage employees to keep their desks tidy – and ensure removable media, documents and notebooks are locked away at the end of the day and every time employees leave their desk.

Ultimately, when everyone’s desk is clean and all areas of the company are free from paper and clutter, your office space looks attractive, professional and efficient. Employees feel more in control in a well-organised environment and your customers will be left with a good impression of your company.

Get in touch today to see how our services can protect your employees, customers and company.

In today’s data-driven world, it’s more important than ever to take proactive action to train staff in secure document destruction and improve the human firewall. Get in touch today for a no-obligation quote, to see how our services can support data security and compliance.

[1] OAIC
[2] 
CSO

Disclaimer: This article is provided for your convenience and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should not take, or refrain from taking, actions based upon the content of this article. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. Please seek professional legal advice.
 

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