In 2014, there were 12,729 cases of identity theft in Canada—an increase of 8% from the previous year. Many of these incidents could have been prevented with better information management practices. Here are three common information management mishaps and tips on how to avoid them.
1. Hacked and Hijacked Data
Hacking of corporate networks continues to rise across Canada, as do ransomware attacks that hold corporate data hostage until a sum is paid. And it’s not only multimillion-dollar companies being targeted. Earlier this year, a small Canadian restaurant was hit with ransomware, forcing the owner to shell out an undisclosed amount of money to recover their files. What’s even more disturbing is that numerous information security groups indicate Canada is lagging behind the US, Great Britain and other countries when it comes to defending citizens from cyber criminals.
One of the most powerful steps you can take to prevent a data security mishap is to empower your employees to protect your business information. They are your first line of defence. Carry out a written data security policy that your staff can easily follow. Include procedures for the following situations:
- Web browsing and internet use
- Bring your own device (BYOD) restrictions
- Application login and password requirements
You should also look for Privacy+ Certified business-to-business suppliers and vendors who implement security practices that prevent unauthorized access to the applications, networks, and operating systems that contain your data.
2. Lost and Stolen Media
Lost or stolen backup media is a common information management mishap. If backup media is stolen from a car or left on a taxi or train, the consequences can be devastating, especially when one hard drive or backup tape can contain more confidential records than dozens of file cabinets full of paper documents. These types of mishaps often occur where there is a lack of formal data storage procedures.
When you use an off-site data security service, they work with you to create and implement a managed media rotation and storage plan for your business. On a scheduled basis, your backup media is transferred off-site to a secure data vault by a screened data protection professional. In addition to protecting your tapes and hard drives from theft and loss, temperature and humidity levels within the vault are kept at optimal levels to ensure the long-term preservation of your media. Only screened data protection professionals handle and manage your inventory, while security and fire suppression systems provide multiple levels of protection.
3. Dumped Documents
Preventing an information management mishap isn’t just about keeping your electronic records and mobile devices safe and secure. Your paper records can also be accidentally exposed. For example, a number of file folders containing employees’ social insurance numbers and banking information were recently found behind a Calgary restaurant.
Confidential paperwork should always be shredded before being discarded. But don’t rely on your paper shredding machine to destroy your documents promptly and securely. Unfortunate information breach incidents like the one mentioned above tend to happen when individuals don’t have time to feed documents into a paper shredder. And even if you do take the time to use your shredder, it offers no guarantee that your sensitive information is safe. Some shredding machines merely shred documents into strips, which can be reconstructed by a determined person, especially when your shredded documents are bagged up together in a garbage dumpster or recycling bin.
Fortunately, a NAID AAA Certified secure shredding service offers a time-saving solution. On a scheduled or as-needed basis, your information is destroyed for you. Industrial cross-cut shredders ensure that your confidential paperwork is shredded into unrecognizable particles. Following that, your shredded documents are mixed with up to 10,000 pounds of shredded paper from other sources, making it impossible to reconstruct your documents.
Even a small information mishap can cause a privacy breach disaster for your business. Use the tips we’ve discussed here to keep your records and data safe.
FileBank offers information management solutions to businesses throughout Canada. For more information about our services, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.