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Our focus in this issue is on remote working and the challenges this poses for organisations.
As home working grows in popularity, organisations that fail to adequately plan for those employees who wish to work outside of the traditional office environment are putting themselves at greater risk of a security breach taking place.
Such breaches can be the result of technical or human error, with the causes ranging from an insecure internet connection, a lost or stolen USB device or the failure to shred paper documents containing sensitive data. Despite the rise in home working many employees who work remotely may not have considered how policies and procedures related to the treatment of confidential information should be applied outside of the confines of the office.
“While flexible working offers employees many benefits allowing employees to work from home or while travelling poses a greater threat to security than most companies realise,” says Robert Guice, Vice President of Shred-it EMEA. “Unfortunately, without proper encryption, firewalls and document destruction policies in place, employees working outside of the office could be leaving their organisation at greater risk of a security breach.”
However, even company-owned devices installed with defensive technology designed to safeguard confidential data are not always 100 per cent secure. Companies can often disregard guidelines on how these tools should be used appropriately and effectively. According to a study by Ponemon Institute LLC, 65 per cent of business managers write their encryption password down or share it with other individuals and 50 per cent of business managers have disengaged their laptop’s encryption solution.
At the same time research undertaken by the organisers of the recent National Identity Fraud Prevention Week found that just 56 per cent of businesses have put in place a clear policy on how to handle documents with sensitive information. Without a strict information storage policy, companies are putting themselves, their clients’ and their employees at risk.
Regardless of size, any company which allows employees to take confidential information outside of the office is potentially at risk of a security breach. If your business allows employees to work from home or while travelling, or if staff are able to access social networking sites from a work device, or store company information on USB keys, then your company information is at risk.
While the focus may be on electronic documents the risk associated with paper documents should not be overlooked. Paper containing confidential information can be misplaced, stolen or improperly destroyed, leaving company and client information exposed, increasing the potential risk of a security breach.
So what are the key areas of concern that lead to security breaches?
There are a number of ways an organisation can secure its confidential data when employees are working off site:
While technology and encryption are part of the answer, data loss and identity theft is too often caused by human error, rather than through the failure of a technical device. By creating policies that follow the document destruction life-cycle, ensuring that confidential data is safely and securely stored from the moment it is created, to the time it is no longer needed and destroyed, every organisation can better protect its own confidential information and that of its clients.
With increasing numbers of employees looking to work off site, the need for secure information planning is greater than ever.
To learn more about Shred-it services or to book your FREE security audit, visit www.shredit.co.uk.
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