Effective data management is incredibly important today. It’s crucial for any business to have this under control, not just to ensure customers are protected but also to avoid attrition. Customers today are much more proactive when it comes to checking up on how businesses will protect their data – one 2018 survey, for example, established that 92% of consumers look at an organisation's data protection track record before choosing an institution to bank with. Plus, consumers tend to be put off using companies that have experienced data protection breaches.
Using shredding to help protect customers
Physical data in documents, on media such as thumb drives and in physical folders and files is as much at risk – if not more so – than that which is digitally stored. Shredding is one of the only ways that any organisation can ensure this data has been fully destroyed and customers are protected. There are three key ways in which integrating shredding into document disposal and recycling processes helps businesses to protect customers:
Creating a 360-degree security culture
If a comprehensive digital data protection policy is not matched by secure document disposal then this can create a confusing security environment. Establishing a focus on security throughout the business means ensuring that customer data is being protected at every level, including physical document disposal. Transparent security policies, clear data protection values and a commitment to shredding are all key components in creating a business culture that is security-first.
Risk assessment and management
The first step in the process of protecting customers where data is concerned is assessing the risks that may be involved in handling or processing that data. The disposal of documents can be a time of great risk, especially if paper or media are being sent off site to be disposed of. An essential part of risk management for any company will be minimising the potential exposure of documents to risk. Shredding – especially on-site shredding – reduces this exposure considerably. Documents are destroyed before leaving the premises helping to protect customer information and sensibly manage risk.
Fostering a security mindset
Employees should be schooled in how to handle data and sensitive information from their first day on the job. If there are visible and reliable processes in place to ensure that this information never falls into the wrong hands it’s much easier to foster a security mindset that means employees are always aware of issues or vulnerabilities that could cause a problem. Shredding policies and processes demonstrate a commitment to protection of customer data that helps to ensure everyone in the business understands just how important that really is.
Given the consequences for failing to protect customers and their data today – from reputational damage through to fines and penalties – it’s just not worth the risk. A strong shredding policy has a crucial role to play in ensuring that your business measures up. Get in touch with Shred-on-Site today to find out which of our shredding services is the best fit for your business.
Mark Coombes, Follow me on Google+