Shred-it urges businesses to become "increasingly alert" as International Fraud Awareness Week approaches

Posted: November 02, 2010

As International Fraud Awareness Week approaches (November 7-13), experts at Shred-it, the UK's largest on site document destruction company, are warning businesses of the need to protect themselves from the growing threat of employee fraud.

Over 4.5 million individuals change job every year in the UK, but astonishingly very few employers actually verify who they are recruiting. This is even though 85 per cent of all corporate fraud is committed by employees, according to research conducted by GB Group, the identity management solutions provider. The same study reports that there were 120,000 incidents of identity theft last year in the UK, enforcing the fact that companies must know their employees and therefore who they are allowing access to confidential data. Yet despite these statistics, Shred-it's own research shows that just one per cent of business operators rate employee fraud as their top security concern.

"The findings from our research show a clear message, employers do not prioritise the risk of employee fraud highly on their agenda even though the potential risk is significant" says Robert Guice, Executive Vice President of Shred-it, EMEA. "While the mechanics of identity theft and fraud are often associated with external sources, insider access to sensitive data, including employee records, is a key organisational security risk, potentially leading to identity theft and fraud. International Fraud Awareness Week is an ideal time to highlight these risks to organisations and encourage businesses to become increasingly alert when it comes to securing loopholes in organisational risk management."

In support of the week-long international campaign and based on its 20-plus years of industry experience providing information security solutions to business, government and non-profit customers around the world, Shred-it has the following quick tips for organisations wanting to protect the security of employee information and eliminate the potential for identify theft and fraud:

  1. Make sure you have formal information security policies in place; train your employees to know the policies well and follow them rigorously.
  2. Limit the number of people who handle confidential documents. Be careful when hiring new employees. Perform full reference checks and, where warranted, ask your new hires to sign confidentiality agreements.
  3. Demonstrate a top-management commitment to the total security of your business and customer information.
  4. Conduct a security audit of your organisation. Shred-it offers free security assessments to identify possible weaknesses in your data security processes.
  5. Adopt a shred-all policy to ensure that all paper documents are securely destroyed on a regular basis.
  6. Outsource document destruction to reliable vendors, whose methodology ensures total security of the document disposal process.

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