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What are You Doing to Prevent Identity Theft at Your Business?
Earlier this year, a study by Javelin Strategy and Research found that there were over 12 million victims of identity theft in in the United States in 2012. Identity theft is big business: according to the US Department of Justice, the total financial loss from identity theft in 2013 equaled $21 billion. Given the large amount of client data maintained, companies of all types have become especially vulnerable targets. Therefore, it makes sense to take precautionary measures before your business becomes a victim.
First, it’s wise to learn how identity theft affects your company. Your business stores and uses personally identifiable information belonging to both your employees and clients. One breach can have a widespread financial impact resulting from:
- notification costs
- legal representation
- regulatory non-compliance
- civil proceedings
Combined with the various monetary repercussions, the loss of client and employee confidence can more than double the damage of identity theft.
The Problems with On-Site Storage
Many businesses don’t realize the risk they’re taking when storing confidential documents and files on-site. There’s a common misconception that corporate data stored on-premises is less vulnerable to exposure than it would be if stored off-site. However, personally identifiable information can easily be compromised from both internal and external sources. For example, office cleaning and maintenance often takes place outside of business hours. A client credit card number left on a desktop can be stolen. File cabinets and desk drawers may be riffled through without detection. The same information can even be stolen by a disgruntled or dishonest employee.
Additionally, corporate records are often improperly managed. Formal procedures for accessing sensitive information are frequently abandoned due to lack of expertise and/or a focus on revenue-generating tasks. As a result, files can easily become misplaced, making a breach even more difficult to detect.
Outsourcing records storage and management functions to a professional records management supplier can significantly reduce the risk of a data breach resulting in identity theft from happening to your business. A professional records center contains the following systems to ensure complete protection for your document inventory:
- 24/7 security
- motion sensor technology
- barcode tracking
- access control
- records retention inventory management
What are You Doing to Reduce the Risk of Identity Theft in Your Business?
Disaster recovery specialists have also concluded that storing corporate records off-site strengthens business continuity capabilities.
Confidential Data is Often Exposed at the Point of Disposal
Just as businesses incur increased identity theft risks with in-house storage, data breach incidences also increase due to improper disposal procedures. While corporate recycling programs have increased substantially, they have also complicated the disposal process. Files containing private data frequently end up in recycling bins instead of being shredded. Office shredding machines have proven ineffective due to the following limitations:
- inability to shred a high volume of confidential material
- frequent malfunctions and required maintenance
- improper shred size
- time consumption
A professional shredding solution allows your business to securely dispose of sensitive business records while maintaining productivity. Destruction of paper documents and even electronic media can be customized to your company’s disposal needs through several options:
- one-time purge services
- scheduled shredding
- on-site mobile destruction
- off-site shredding
While simultaneously reducing identity theft risks, professional shredding and destruction provider ensures that shredded material is recycled and thus aligned with your corporate environmental initiatives.
As your full-service records and information management solution provider, Records Management Center can help your business significantly reduce the risk of identity theft. To find out more, please contact us by phone or fill in the form on this page.