Top Information Security Threats in the Office

Top Information Security Threats in the Office

Businesses of all sizes deal with sensitive data, whether it’s employee information, customer information, or general company information. You’ll want to do everything you can to protect this information and keep it from getting out or getting stolen. It can be absolutely disastrous if certain sensitive data falls into the wrong hands, after all.

For example, customer or employee information could be used for identity fraud, while sensitive business information could be sold to your competitors. Keeping that in mind, the following are some of the most common information security threats that you should be aware of around the office:

1. Leaving Sensitive Information in Photocopiers

Your employees may need to make copies of certain documents for whatever reason. One of the biggest mistakes that they make is leaving a copy of the document–or the document itself– in the photocopier. Anyone can come by and pick up the documents as a result. There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening.

First of all, make it a point to tell all employees to be careful when making copies of documents. You might even want to put up a sign reminding employees to take the original copies back with them. Secondly, consider implementing security codes at your printers.

2. Throwing Documents Into Recycling Bins

While you should encourage your employees to recycle, the last thing you’ll want is for employees to toss documents that they don’t need anymore into the recycling bin if they have confidential information in them. Employees often don’t know whether a document is confidential or not and may not realize that they’re tossing sensitive information into a recycling bin that can easily be stolen by someone.

The best way to keep sensitive documents secure is to first educate employees about the criteria that qualifies documents as containing sensitive information and then provide them with a secure place to deposit these sensitive documents when it’s time to purge files. This can be easily remedied by trusting your recycling and shredding needs to a reputable data destruction and recycling company. They’ll provide slotted, locked bins for all of your confidential documents that will be destroyed in a secure and confidential manner.

3. Not Destroying Hard-Drives

A lot of companies store tons of sensitive data on their hard drives, whether it’s on computers or external drives. When these pieces of equipment are no longer needed, it’s important that you have them destroyed. Simply wiping them clean and throwing them out won’t do. Just because you deleted information from a hard drive does not mean that someone can’t gain access to it.

Data is never completely deleted, after all. Because of this, you should contact an electronic equipment shredding service that can safely and securely physically destroy your hard drives, making it impossible for anyone to find any data on it.

4. Leaving a Messy Desk

A messy desk leaves your company vulnerable to potential information theft. For example, if an employee keeps sticky notes all over their desk with various passwords on them, someone could

easily steal them without the employee realizing they’re gone for some time. Require that your employees keep their desks clean and organized.

5. Victims of Scams

A lot of companies fall victim to phishing scams because their employees don’t know how to spot them. They will open up an attachment or click on a link from an email that results in a virus penetrating their computer system. This can result in the theft or loss of data. Educate your employees on how to identify such scams to make your company less vulnerable to them.

6. Carelessness When Working From Home

Employees have a habit of being careless when they work from home. They could potentially leave confidential documents in coffee shops, cars, or public places by mistake, where they can be stolen. They may also use unsecured Internet connections when working in coffee shops. Consider implementing a work from home policy to help prevent such carelessness.

These are some of the common information security risks in the office. If you need paper shredding, electronic device destruction services, or data breach solutions, please contact us at AccuShred today.