We're Growing - Join Our Team
Get A Quote Now!

IntelliShred QuickQuote

Be sure to ask for your "early spring discount"

Best Ways to Prevent Corporate and Industrial Espionage

In this blog post, we are going to talk about how to prevent corporate espionage so that when it does happen – as it inevitably will – you’ll have a plan in place and won’t panic!

What would you do if your company was hit by a data breach? Or, worse yet, what if an employee had leaked all of your company’s secrets to the competition? If this has happened before, you know how devastating it can be. Corporate espionage is an extreme form of competitive intelligence that steals intellectual property and trade secrets to gain a competitive advantage. In fact, under the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) of 1996, corporate espionage is a federal criminal offense.

Conduct a Risk Analysis

The first thing to consider when looking at your company’s espionage prevention is where the threat is coming from. Every company has different obstacles preventing such actions, and it’s important that you know what yours are, so you can protect against them. Some common ones might be technology leaks, employee theft, or competitors hacking your systems – but if this doesn’t apply

Once you figure out which avenue they’re using, start thinking about how these employees would normally go about their job day:

  • What do they wear?
  • Do they have badges on them with barcodes that reveal information when scanned?
  • Where could one find sensitive documents (on napkins at lunch?)

It can also help to leave the company with a group of people, as well as prevent an individual from coming and going without being seen.

Establish Effective Security Policies

Following proper security protocols can prevent a lot of unnecessary security flaws. Your security policies outline how employees can select secure passwords, keep passwords and security cards safe, and other best practices for handling access to company information. To prevent unauthorized access to your computer and data system – you need to make sure that any terminated employees can’t get in, sensitive material is destroyed before being thrown away, and employee activity is monitored.

The policies should also prevent any sensitive information from being stored on personal devices or in the cloud. Discourage employees from sending attachments through email without encryption and encourage them to set up firewalls for all networks that are connected to your office network, so they can’t be accessed by outsiders.

For data storage, use encrypted repositories such as virtual private servers and don’t store anything more than is required for business purposes on them. For example, if customer records need to be kept secure, then keep them off of phones which could become lost or stolen. Make it mandatory that employees have their own unique login IDs rather than sharing one with other departments, so there’s no way unauthorized individuals gain access to confidential files.

Use a Professional Shredding Service

Did you know that if you have sensitive data stored at your home, office or warehouse it can be a liability? You’re exposed to risks such as theft, blackmail, and a potential intelligence breach. Moreover, how you dispose of classified information and devices, like company phones and hard drives, can create unnecessary risks too.

Using a professional shredding service can give you peace of mind that your confidential data and devices are destroyed once for all. Shredding is one of the most recommended techniques for destroying documents and devices that may put you at risk. Hard drive and paper shredders are designed to cut data on disks into tiny pieces with rotary blades. A shredding company like IntelliShred in New Jersey can shred, recycle or dispose of your private information to ensure it’s kept safe from potential spies. A shredding company will come in and render the documents and devices useless by cutting them into tiny pieces, so they are no longer readable. This is ideal for businesses who want to protect their assets.

 

Follow Principles of Least Privilege

Every employee should be granted the least amount of access to privileged information possible to do their job. The Principle of Least Privilege is based on a security concept that states once an employee has access, they can do anything within the scope of what’s allowed by their level or rights.

For example, if your company only needs employees with W-level privileges for accessing customer data records and John Smith just got hired as an administrative assistant last week without any experience in this area, he doesn’t need all W-rights at first; it could take time before he does enough work to warrant these additional permissions.

Principle of Least Privilege is a strategy that uses boundaries to encapsulate your information and power. By limiting the amount of information, power, and spaces employees have access to, you reduce the risk of data breaches.

Setup Secure Infrastructure

Secure your infrastructure to prevent and detect any unauthorized network traffic. Install antivirus software, data encryption tools, firewalls, virus scanners, or anti-malware in order to prevent hackers from gaining access to your company’s resources.

Determine what type of information is sensitive enough for you that it should be protected by the security measures mentioned above. Once this has been decided, take steps such as installing a firewall between these two networks, so they have their own levels of confidentiality and don’t affect each other if one becomes compromised.

Create Propers Employee Termination Procedures

When employees retire, get fired, or quit, it’s crucial that their access codes are revoked and that you ensure they return any sensitive company information and devices. This will help prevent the information from falling into unauthorized hands and prevent former employees from using company resources to take their competitors’ data.

Have a Contingency and Crisis Management Plan

Create a clear plan in place that outlines what should happen in the event of a data breach or suspected espionage. The plan should outline steps for reporting espionage and what the company should do if it is under attack. It should also include a system for notifying all of your employees about the data breach.

In order to prevent espionage, there are many ways you can take protect your company. Different companies need different measures. However, if every measure is tailored for a specific company’s goals and security risks then all the measures work together when one of them becomes compromised.

Conclusion

The key to preventing espionage is to be aware that any employee – or even someone outside your company – could potentially have access to sensitive information if they put in enough time investigating how your workflows. Once you know what their objective is, it’s easier to find ways around them – for example, by scanning badges at entrances/exits with bar codes, so there’s no way an outsider can get past security without anyone noticing. By thinking before acting when faced with these schemes, it will let you make more informed decisions about where the risk lies and how best to prevent corporate and industrial espionage. A shredding company, like IntelliShred can give you the added peace of mind that your confidential data is destroyed indefinitely. Contact us for more information.

It’s common these days for businesses to outsource their marketing, accounting, IT, manufacturing, and more. Yet, so many organizations are still trying to dispose of their paper documents on their own.

Cybercrime has become one of the largest concerns for business owners today, and data shredding services can help ease these concerns. Reports state that in about 5 years, cybercrime could cost companies about $6 trillion worth of annual damages. These damages would not only impact companies, but could also extend to government agencies, nonprofits and private citizens.

Examples of the damages include, destruction or theft of money, intellectual property, personal or financial data by hackers. Then there are the other types of damages like loss of employee productivity, embezzlement, fraud, forensic investigations or other restoration efforts.

It’s apparent that a significant portion of cybercrime is not always calculated properly due to unreported crimes, but there are have been recent successes of law enforcement against criminal organizations worldwide.

Read on to learn why data shredding services are the answer you’ve been looking for

Protection Against Theft

Theft of sensitive information is on the rise. Whenever you have any documents in physical format, you are at risk. Those documents in recycling bins, filing folders, and on people’s desks could get into the wrong hands. Even hard copies of phone messages, quick notes, and other items that seem innocuous could combine together for someone to use it for dishonest purposes.

Most identity theft and fraud can be tied to paper. In fact, 1 in 5 data breaches involves paper records. Remember that it is not just you but your clients and customers that are at risk of being compromised. This is one of the most important reasons why you need data shredding services. Recycling or using personal shredders is not secure enough for your data.

Professional document destruction is vital for secure documents.

Compliance

Another reason why on-site shredding is not the best solution is due to compliance. Professional shredding of secure documents ensures that your organization complies with the State and Federal regulations such as the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act.

Using small, strip-cut shredders for documents does not protect you against possible legal action. When you use a secure shredding provider, your records follow a rigid chain of custody and will even provide you with a certificate of destruction.

A secure shredding service enables your business to comply with state and federal laws as well as reduce the chance of litigation.

data shredding services blogEmployee and Customer Trust

Your employees provide you with much of their personal information such as their full name, address, banking information, and so on. It is your responsibility as an employer to prevent identity theft as best you can.

A secure shredding service protects your personnel records and files. This will give employees peace of mind. They will also know that you value them and their safety and will trust you.

The same is true of your business partners and customers. Organizations you do business with want to feel secure knowing that their customer lists, marketing plans, financial information, and so on are not going to end up in the hands of their competitors.

Environmentally Friendly

In the United States, each individual produces just under five pounds of paper-related garbage every day. Yes, in a single day! This waste moves into landfills where it piles up over time, leading to the need for more and more landfills.

You might assume that recycling and shredding are equally beneficial for our environment. But that is not the case. Not all paper put into a blue bin actually gets recycled. With professional shredding, all that paper will be either composted to provide nutrients for soil or recycled into more paper. We all must do our part to help protect the planet.

Productivity

If you’ve ever used a personal shredder, you know how tedious and time-consuming it can be. Some small units only can shred a page or two at a time. If your employees have to shred their own documents, that keeps them from performing their regular duties.

Outsourcing this task is more secure, effective and allows your team to get back to doing what they do best. A rise in productivity is the outcome.

Data Shredding Services

With the large quantity of confidential information stolen, it can be challenging to protect your employees and customers. Don’t compromise your security by not utilizing data shredding services for your business.

IntelliShred has the equipment, tools and staff available to meet your legal paper shredding, hard drive shredding and disposal needs. With over 30 years of experience within the industry, our team can help you maintain compliance with privacy regulations and ensure your confidentiality is secured.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment so we can assess what type of data shredding services your company can benefit from.

Sources: Report by Cybersecurity Ventures/The Herjavec Group

In the past few years, security breaches led to the compromising of nearly 4 billion confidential records. This information came from businesses, federal agencies, and even private homes. Storing sensitive information may seem the obvious choice to prevent security breaches. But there is another way, and it lies in data shredding services.

You might not think you need data shredding, but the consequences of letting all of that confidential information pile-up could be detrimental. Even if you don’t believe shredding data applies to your life, you should still educate yourself about these services.

So, what is secure shredding? Below, we answer all of your questions about secure shredding and why it is a great way to ensure your classified or sensitive business documents remain safe.

What Is Secure Shredding?

Secure shredding isn’t just making a run to your home or office shredder. This type of document destruction is on another level. When securely shredding private information, you want to make sure that the pieces are illegible.

When hiring a shredding service, you ensure the disposal of all private documents and information. Most self-service shredders cannot reduce the material to small enough ribbons to ensure security. Professional services are well equipped to shred your confidential information into extra small pieces, making it impossible to piece them back together.

The disposal process should include on-site disposal, where you get to watch the shredding happen. They will also provide secure containers so no one can break in and recover the information.

Why Invest In Secure Shredding?

You may wonder why you should consider paying an office shredding service to come out and destroy your files, e-files, and other documents. Fact is, it couldn’t hurt to add an extra layer of protection in regards to your data. Along with security, these services also provide other benefits such as de-cluttering your office, saving time, and abiding by the law.

Protects Your Clients

Whether you run a medical practice or are a real estate agent, the customer’s privacy should always be the main priority. Sometimes, people assume their business is not subject to a breach in data.

These businesses may not see the need to hire a secure shredding service for their documents. But all client info, even if it is just their name, needs to remain confidential. Immediately shredding documents, billing information, and anything else personal to your client or patient will ensure safety.

Protects Your Employees

Breaches in data come with weighty consequences. These consequences could pertain to you or an employee who did not follow protocol.

Your workers have privacy rights. Therefore, it is your job to discard their personal information securely. Now, if an employee leaks information, the repercussions will fall both on you and on them. A client or patient whose private details are public is liable to sue your company. This can cost you thousands of dollars in fines. While the employee who is accountable for the mishap could be looking at a jail sentence.

You should pay attention to where you store checks, payroll information, direct deposit information, or anything else regarding employees and clients. A secure shredding service would protect you both by expertly destroying your documents.

Abides By The Law

There are several laws with regards to shredding private data. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) states that when a company finishes with a client, that company should dispose of the info.

You must shred documents until they are no longer legible. When we throw out the trash, it becomes public property. That means anyone can rummage through a business’s dumpster to find documents with credit card numbers or addresses written on them.

It is not enough to merely shred these documents yourself, either. Most companies use a standard shredder that you can buy anywhere. These shredders cut the paper into ribbons, but that isn’t illegible enough. Someone could still piece that document back together to recover it.

That’s where a shredding service comes in to help. These services use shredders that cut papers and other media (CDs, floppy discs, etc.) into small pieces. The method they use is cross-cutting. The shredding machines will cut your data into pieces measuring 1 millimeter by 12 millimeters.

If you have confidential federal data, you can even have a shredder cut it up into pieces that are less than 1 millimeter by 5 millimeters. The smaller the pieces, the fewer chances of breaking security laws and shredding laws.

Avoids Clutter

While it doesn’t have anything to do with protecting security, clutter is still a concern. You can hire shredding companies to come out a few times a month and clear out the files you have lying around your office. Afterward, you will have a more organized workspace for you and your employees.

Saves Time

Sitting around shredding every document you have will take up a good chunk of your time. Chances are you will only have access to a regular office shredder. That means you can only shred a few items at once.

A secure shredding service solves both of those problems at once. Their machines are capable of disposing of large bundles of papers at a time. Therefore, what would take you days will only take a few minutes with a service.

Who Needs Secure Shredding?

Everyone should consider secure shredding. The process may be most important to small businesses and medical practices that allow access to personal health information.

Businesses that need secure shredding include the following:

  • Medical practices
  • Federal agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Mail carriers or shipping services
  • Accountants
  • Any business selling products

Note that this list is in no way comprehensive. Even if you are an individual or private residence, you should look into securely shredding your documents. Even junk mail can lead to matters like identity theft if it falls into the wrong hands.

What Should You Shred?

If you aren’t sure whether to securely shred a document, it is better to be safe than sorry. If someone steals or leaks information from you, the repercussions could be devastating.

Items that need secure shredding include the following:

  • Tax information
  • Patient health information
  • Lists of customers/customer information
  • Credit card/billing information
  • Payroll information
  • Federal documents with confidential information
  • Mail with addresses on it (such as junk mail)
  • Pay stubs
  • Voided checks
  • Photo IDs
  • Airline tickets
  • Birth certificates

While it may not seem likely to you that someone would use your information, it can still happen. Some people like to mark out data with a marker or cut it up with scissors.

Unfortunately, when it comes to documents detailing pertinent information such as a social security number, those strategies won’t be enough. Hiring secure shredding companies will always be the best method.

Hire a Shredding Service

At IntelliShred, we want you to have sound peace of mind when it comes to disposing of your data. Our services include data and e-file destruction and are professional in every way possible so that you aren’t left wondering about your level of data security. IntelliShred disposes of everything on-site. That way, your sensitive files never leave the premise. After the process is over, we will give you a Certificate of Destruction.

We hoped that we answered everything surrounding the question “What is secure shredding?” If you need shredding services, we urge you to contact us and get a free quote from us today.

Disposing Of Confidential Information

At one time or another, every business could end up dealing with theft of their confidential or sensitive information. Whatever information your company stores should be secured or properly destroyed if it’s no longer needed. To help avoid the theft of confidential information, every company should implement a document disposal process.

When faced with the challenge of safeguarding information, it’s best to follow the following disposing of confidential information guidelines:

Develop a confidential information management policy
In order to lower your company’s chances of experiencing a data breach, it’s best to establish a specific business records retention schedule. This type of policy will help determine how long your business should store confidential documents or records. Your policy should specifically state how confidential files are dealt with and who should have access to them. Every employee in the company should be trained and face consequences if they don’t adhere to the company’s confidential information policy.

Change your company’s environmental impact
It’s not just illegal to throw away documents with sensitive information, there is also a significant environmental impact. Recycling is effective, but for confidential documents it may not be secure enough – shredding is a better way to ensure that sensitive information does not get into the wrong hands. It’s not efficient or effective to rely on store-bought shredding machines – they cannot handle the disposal of confidential information in high volumes, or destroy a digital media storage device.

Most experts suggest that paper should always be shredded using a cross-cut method in order to destroyed beyond recognition and most store-bought shredders don’t feature that ability. To save the environment, it’s best to cut paper down to a size which can be recycled more easily – only professional shredding equipment can shred down to the smallest size.

Make sure you find the right shredding company
Proper disposing of confidential information is always worth the extra investment. Don’t put your confidential information at risk by choosing just any shredding and destruction service. A professional shredding company can help you stay in compliance. Avoid legal trouble, help save the environment and obtain peace of mind that you’ve done everything you can to protect the valuable information you store.

It’s best to find an experienced shredding company with a strong reputation and good references. Look for a provider that is certified by the National Association of Information Destruction (NAID). If they are AAA certified, then you know they are working with the highest ethical and professional standards.

There are many reasons why a professional shredding company will help. They typically provide a certificate of destruction which will prove that your company is in compliance with shredding and destruction regulations. A professional and accredited service is ideal, because if an identity theft case ever surfaces, your business could be held liable.

Most of these companies will provide certificates of destruction which prove that the shredding and destruction process was properly executed. They can also help your company avoid legal trouble, help save the environment and provide the proper protection for the valuable information you store.

IntelliShred is a full-service document shredding and destruction company which offers daily, weekly, and monthly service packages. We are NAID members and we have a fleet of mobile shredding and destruction trucks with state-of-the-art equipment. Learn more about how we can help you protect your business – contact us today for more information on our services.

Corporate Information Management

With the many recent reports of fraud and theft, companies both large and small are always a target. Today’s employers must work diligently to prevent the theft of confidential and proprietary information.

Regulations like the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are in place to offer protection, but companies should also add on policies and procedures which help them safeguard against fraud.

It’s simple for organizations to establish and enforce corporate information management security policies – following these steps will help them combat against fraud.

First Step: Identify and prioritize confidential information within your organization

Most organizations need to begin by categorizing their confidential information by value and confidentiality. By doing this first step, companies can prioritize which data to secure first. Customer information systems or employee record systems are the easiest places to start. Social Security numbers, account numbers, personal identification numbers, credit card numbers and other types of structured information that will need to be protected. Contracts, financial releases and customer correspondence are also important to protect.

Second Step: Perform a risk assessment and study current corporate information management

It’s necessary to see exactly how confidential information flows around the organization. Identifying the processes that involve confidential information is a straightforward exercise, but determining the risk of leakage requires a more in-depth examination. The following questions are important to get answers to:

Who can access these confidential information assets?

How are these assets created, modified, processed or distributed?

What type of gap exists between stated procedures and the exact actions of employees/staff?

Keeping these questions in mind, companies will be able to identify vulnerabilities in their handling of corporate information management.

Third Step: Determine the appropriate levels of access to confidential information

A company can develop distribution policies for all types of corporate information management based on the risk assessment. These policies should govern exactly who can access, use or receive which type of content and when, as well as oversee enforcement actions for violations of those policies.

Distribution policies should be created for the following types of confidential information:

Customer information

Executive communications

Intellectual property

Employee records

When these distribution policies are better defined, companies can then also implement monitoring and enforcement points along the communication paths.

Fourth Step: Implement adequate monitoring and an enforcement system

It’s crucial for companies to monitor and enforce established policies. The system created should monitor information usage and traffic, verifying compliance with distribution policies. Software systems can accurately identify threats and prevent them from affecting the company. The monitoring system should have the ability to avoid false alarms as well.

Fifth Step: Review monitoring progress and level of fraud risk

The most effective way organizations can protect against fraud is to regularly review their systems, policies and training. Through monitoring systems, organizations can improve employee training, expand deployment and systematically eliminate vulnerabilities. Systems should be reviewed regularly Both internal and external audits are useful for eliminating vulnerabilities and threats.

Today’s companies need to identify sensitive data; understand current business processes; craft appropriate access, establish distribution policies and monitor all communications. One of the easiest ways to safeguard your confidential information is to shred and destroy documents and information storage devices.

The benefits of hiring a professional shredding and electronic destruction service are clear – it’s the most effective way to avoid facing information security risks. It’s absolutely crucial to put safeguards in place that will protect your business. IntelliShred has been awarded the highest security rating, “AAA Certified” by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID). Contact us today on how we can assist you.

Handling Confidential Information

In today’s information age, every business should be knowledgeable about handling confidential information. No matter the industry, size or scope that the company works within, there should be comprehensive information disposal process put in place.

These are the top five mistakes companies make with handling confidential information:

MISTAKE #1 Not controlling employee access to confidential records
Whether it’s paper documents or information that is stored digitally, it’s crucial to control access to it by using passwords, firewalls and encryption. When passwords are used to control access, they should be changed on a regular basis. Although we live in a mostly digital world, some businesses still deal with a lot of hard copies. In order to safely and securely store confidential paper documents, you should have lockable storage cabinets available that are only accessed by certain employees.

MISTAKE #2: No policy in place to protect confidential records
There’s an easy way to diminish the risk of experiencing a data breach. Simply establish a policy that dictates exactly how long your business should store confidential documents or records. It’s not recommended that confidential files are kept for longer than they are needed because that could increase your company’s risk of a data breach or identity theft.

MISTAKE #3 Not properly training employees on how to handle confidential records
It’s simple – make sure your employees know what risk they could face if they don’t learn how to handle the confidential information that your company stores. It’s essential to explain why data confidentiality is so important and offer them the many ways they can protect it. Teach them how to use secure passwords, make them follow a process for secure hard drive destruction, shredding and destroying documents or information storage devices and most importantly, explain the consequences of not doing these things. It’s very practical to train your employees in-house, but you can hire professionals to help you as well.

MISTAKE #4: Using store-bought shredding machines to shred paper documents
There’s nothing that compares to the efficiency and accuracy of a professional shredding service. Store-bought shredding machines are not equipped to handle large volumes of paper at one time and before you shred, you must remove staples and paper clips. These machines also require constant maintenance because they frequently jam and break down.

MISTAKE #5: Not hiring a professional shredding company
Hiring a professional shredding company for the disposal of confidential information is the best solution. It’s important to choose a vendor with a strong reputation and good references that is certified by the National Association of Information Destruction (NAID). They should have received proper AAA certification, which proves they are working within the highest ethical and professional standards.

Hiring a professional shredding company will give you the peace of mind that you’ve properly protected the confidential information you store. IntelliShred provides full-service document shredding and destruction on site, and offers daily, weekly, monthly, service packages. We can help you protect your business – contact us today to learn more about our services.

Safeguard Confidential Information

There are many ways businesses can reduce the risk of facing information theft and security breaches. One of the easiest preventive measures to implement is a routine schedule of the destruction of documents to shred and other information storage devices. It’s essential to hire a professional paper shredding company in order to safeguard confidential information.

There are daily reports of fraud, theft and hacking these days, and today’s companies both large and small are definite targets. Most recently, thieves have executed increasingly complex attacks, threatening businesses worldwide. When that happens to a business and their brand, there could be irreparable damage, revenue loss, hefty fines, and even legal action.

According to the Computer Security Institute and the FBI, data theft is growing at more than 650% over the past three years. There are government regulations like the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. These laws were put in place to help protect companies from fraud and theft.

It’s necessary to have a comprehensive Digital Defense strategy in place, and it’s clear that part of your strategy should include the shredding and destruction of your digital media storage devices. If your company is going to shield itself, it’s best to be proactive against the current threats.

Hiring a shredding and destruction service is the one of the most secure ways to safeguard confidential information to ensure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Regardless of size, industry or specialty, any business can benefit from hiring a professional paper shredding company to help protect valuable data.

It’s also more efficient and more productive – much better than paying your staff overtime to complete the task. The average U.S. office worker uses approximately one sheet of paper every 12 minutes and disposes of roughly 100 – 200 pounds of paper every year. Think of how much time is saved if a professional shredding service is used. When you outsource the job, your employees have more time to focus on more important work.

When you hire a professional shredding service, they should be able to offer the convenience, flexibility affordability and security you are searching for. Mobile shredding trucks make it easy by coming directly to your business to shred on premises. Every service should offer to haul your shredded or destroyed items away and provide you with a Certificate of Destruction, proving that everything was safely destroyed. The shredding and destruction process should also involve security cameras, monitors and other specialized equipment to ensure that everything is handled securely.

Whatever volume of shredded material your business generates, an experienced professional shredding service will make it easy for you to safeguard confidential information. Documents and digital media storage devices should always be shredded in accordance with NAID AAA standards – make sure that the service you hire has met and exceeded these standards.

At IntelliShred, we are certified and have a team of experts ready to handle whatever shredding job you have. We’ve had years of success in helping our customers with professional shredding and destruction services. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you safeguard confidential information.

Theft Of Confidential Information

Today there are many different threats a business could face – but the costliest threat is theft of confidential information. Here are four steps you can take to protect your company and its sensitive data:

Step #1: Monitor how confidential information is handled and stored
It’s most ideal when companies categorize types of confidential information. By doing this, it’s helpful to prioritize what data to secure first. Customer information systems or employee record systems can safely contain Social Security numbers, account numbers, identification numbers, and other types of sensitive information need to be protected. Securing unstructured information such as contracts, financial releases and customer correspondence is an important next step that should be rolled out on a departmental basis.

Step #2: Perform regular risk assessments
It’s wise for companies to put procedures in place that will help them assess risk and prevent employee theft. Monitoring confidential information across all the major company departments must be a regular occurrence. However, finding the source of a breach may require more in-depth investigation.

Ask the following questions during the risk assessment process:

  • Which employees/staff members have access to this confidential information?
  • How has the confidential information been modified, processed or distributed by them?
  • Is there an area/place where this confidential information could be put at risk?

When companies take the time to analyze how confidential information flows within their company, they can quickly determine which identify vulnerabilities may exist.

Step #3: Create, modify and manage access, usage and distribution policies for confidential information
Upon results from a regular risk assessment, companies can create better, more comprehensive distribution policies for their confidential information. It could be modifications to who can access the confidential information, when it’s accessible (a certain time period), and what type of disciplinary actions will occur for violations of these policies. Once these information distribution policies are defined, it’s essential to also implement monitoring and enforcement of all communication paths.

Step #4: Establish a fail-safe enforcement system
Companies should always implement ways in which they can monitor the handling of confidential information. There should be ways to monitor information usage and traffic, while verifying compliance with distribution policies along the way. Employees and staff should be made aware of the enforcement actions for violation of these policies. Monitoring systems must have flexibility and should be able to accurately identify threats, preventing theft from occurring. These monitoring systems should also contain powerful ID capabilities to stop unauthorized traffic.

It’s clear that although most companies do implement security systems, they often fail to thoroughly review incident reports that arise. It’s also easy to miss theft when you don’t extend security to every communication channel.

Keeping confidential information safe should be a long-term project instead of a one-time event. Ideally, it should demand a lot of attention, requires a way to identify sensitive data; understand and modify current business processes; determine appropriate access, build usage and distribution policies; and monitor all methods of communication. It’s apparent that the high cost of not establishing a system to safeguard your confidential information could be the beginning of the end for your business.

Don’t let theft get the best of your business! Contact IntelliShred today for help with shredding or destroying your confidential data. We’ve been in the business for over two decades and our loyal customers will tell you why they value our services.

Information Security Risks

There are many risks a company could face over its lifespan. The most dangerous risks include an information security breach, corporate identity theft, or the stealing of trade secrets and proprietary data. Managing confidential or sensitive information is necessary for every business to succeed. Identity theft, security breaches and the potential disclosure of proprietary information are all threats that most businesses may not easily overcome.

It’s essential that all businesses, manage the destruction and disposal of documents and digital storage devices in order to avoid facing these risks. Although this could happen to any type or size business, the sectors that are the most at risk for information security issues are: Financial, Healthcare, Educational, and Government.

It’s crucial for every organization to put an information security policy in place. As part of this policy, there should be regular communication sent to your employees to help them follow the confidential information disposal practices you have implemented.

Here are four ways your company can avoid facing information security risks:

  1. Shred and destroy confidential information regularly.
    There’s a variety of confidential and proprietary information that every company must retain. Everything from product prototypes, price lists, and customer data, to client proposals, email lists, research data. If this information is not reviewed regularly and destroyed, your business could face horrible consequences. It’s best to implement a regular business records retention schedule throughout the year so that you may be able to avoid any risk of theft.
  2. Review your business records every quarter.
    It’s best to have a regular review of your business records so that any information that can be disposed of is identified quickly and then shredded and destroyed. Thieves will look for all kinds of documents, and whatever important information they can get their hands on. If sensitive information is not disposed of properly, there is increased risk of liability for your company.
  3. Do not recycle any confidential information.
    Although recycling is an honorable thing, some recycling companies do not properly screen their employees. The environment in which they work is not always monitored effectively, so there is room for theft. Recycled paper customers may not receive their order right away and your sensitive documents could be sitting in a warehouse for weeks or months.
  4. Make sure you hire the best shredding and destruction service.

Choosing a document destruction company can be challenging, but it’s easier if you know what to look for. It’s best to hire a service which provides a certificate of destruction – this gives you peace of mind that your business is in compliance. Be sure to find a certified professional who’s is also accredited by the NAID (National Association for Information Destruction). That way, if an identity theft case ever surfaces, your business will not be held liable.

Hiring a professional shredding service will definitely help you avoid information security risks. If you put a regular shredding/destruction process in place, your business will be protected. IntelliShred has been helping businesses do just that for over two decades. We have been awarded the highest security rating, “AAA Certified” by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID). Contact us today to find out more information on how we can assist you.

Business Records Retention Schedule

Cleaning up your office space every quarter is necessary in order to keep confidential information secure. Not only does the process of cleaning up create physical space, it allows your company to purge old paper documents and information storage devices that have been sitting around. These items, if left in piles or in unlocked drawers, can end up being prime targets for identity thieves.

The best way to get rid of confidential information that is no longer relevant is to set up a business records retention schedule. This is a process where every so often (could be monthly, quarterly or annually), the company goes through its records (both paper and digital), to determine what is still necessary to keep on file.

Of course, it can be difficult to decide which or what type of confidential information needs to be shredded or destroyed. There may be certain records which need to be kept for a longer period of time, but it’s important that those items which are no longer relevant be shredded or destroyed.

The records management life cycle begins when information is created and ends when the information is destroyed. The ultimate goal is for organizations to monitor the cycle on a regular basis to determine when they should go through a purge of their files.

Specifically, in the healthcare industry, there are state regulations which apply to the length of time you can keep a patient’s medical records. There are record retention guidelines for the healthcare industry, but they vary by state. When the patient is a minor, the company should retain health information until the patient reaches the age of majority (usually 18), plus the period of the statute of limitations.

There are several reasons why a business records retention schedule is important in the healthcare industry:

  • It’s crucial to ensure the availability of timely, relevant data and information for patient care
  • It’s essential to meet federal, state, and local legal requirements regarding confidential data
  • It’s wise to reduce the risk of legal discovery and identity theft

There is not a standardized business records retention schedule that companies and organizations must follow. There are a variety of retention requirements that must be met, but each company can develop their own customized retention program. Individual states have retention requirements that should be used, so you should refer to your state laws for specific requirements.

Remember, confidential information on hard drives and other electronic media also require shredding and destruction. Thieves are using advanced data retrieval software that can recover deleted information, so simply hitting the delete button won’t work. Shredding or destroying the information storage device takes it to another level so that the data is irretrievable.

Although there are many ways to dispose of important documents and electronics, the most secure and cost-effective method would be to hire local document shredding services. Mobile shredding trucks can come straight to your location and perform the shredding right there on site. It truly is the most secure and cost-effective way to shred.

IntelliShred has led the shredding and destruction industry for 20 years. Our team provides customers with confidential data destruction and information security solutions. We are committed to maintaining the highest ethical standards and practices, and outstanding, personalized service. We’re proud to be members of the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) and we have consistently achieved AAA Certification – the highest level of security in the shredding industry.

Contact us today for more information of how we can help keep your information safe and secure.