March 24, 2015

5 Security Breaches with Disastrous Effects

They seem perfectly innocent.  Most people probably wouldn’t even recognise the risk.

However, you and your employees might be committing workplace blunders that could have devastating information security implications for your business.

Here are five common security breaches that may seem innocent – but could have serious consequences:

1. Committing ‘work-from-home’ fails: 

Across the UK, the need for flexibility and the improved opportunities for telecommuting are resulting in more and more employees working from home – but 37% of SMEs in the UK don’t have information and data security policies in place for employees who work off-site.

This telecommuting trend poses many challenges to information security.  Many employees, unaware of the risk, end up working from their own computers, which often don’t have proper virus and data encryption scanners. Most people also don’t have shredders at home and end up throwing company documents into their domestic bins. Employing a shredding company that visits employees that work offsite and shreds their documents would alleviate this risk.

Our Security Dangers of Remote Working guide discusses telecommuting in depth and offers recommendations on promoting safe, flexible working.

2. Having a messy desk

Look around your office at all those messy desks around you!

Do you think your employees or colleagues would even notice if just one of the documents or files stacked up on their desk went missing?

Having a messy desk puts your and your clients’ confidential information at risk, yet is probably the most difficult policy to enforce, as many think of a clean desk policy as being trivial and insignificant.

If your company doesn’t have a Clear and Clean Desk Policy, be sure to check out our policy guide to find out how to implement one in your workplace.

3. Keeping old office equipment

Nearly every office seems to have a cache of old computer equipment lying around.

It may seem like worthless junk, but 80% of old computers contain sensitive information that is vitally important to your business, and information stored on these old computers is an easy target for data thieves. The cost of a data breach is much higher compared to the cost of destroying hard drives, so it’s best to take care of it as soon as possible.

4. Being good to the environment – at the expense of being safe

Being environmentally aware and recycling used paper is good, but too often in a rush to do the right thing, employees don’t think about the implications of recycling documents without properly shredding them.  This can leave vital information publicly available for anyone who wants to do your business harm.

But being environmentally aware and secure with your documents don’t have to be mutually exclusive.  A regularly scheduled shredding service provider that works with approved recycling partners, will ensure your business is reducing its carbon footprint.

5. Keeping old documents for too long

Are you one of these people who hoards old documents, just in case they are useful in the future? But what if these documents got into the wrong hands? And did you know that storing personal information longer than necessary for the purpose it was collected is against the law?

Our document retention guidelines will give you the information you need to help ensure your business is in compliance.