Is securing your confidential wast your New Year resolutions?
When it comes to your business, one of the most important resolutions to make for 2017 would be to overhaul the way you deal with confidential waste.
Business owners and managers have become far more aware of the threats they face in terms of cyber security, and the potential for large fines if data is not properly protected.
Neglecting the basics when it comes to information on paper, however, could also lead to a substantial fine if you breach the Data Protection Act, substantial losses for a business, and a massive hit to a company’s reputation.
The Information Commissioner’s Office reported a rise in data breaches from items being posted or faxed to the wrong location during the second quarter of 2016, and an increase in data breaches from the loss or theft of paperwork.
Of the 545 data breaches between April and June 2016, 81 came from the loss or theft of paperwork.
Find out how you can comply with the Data Protection Act here: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/.
What could thieves do with your data?
- Defraud your customers posing as you, a particular threat if your paperwork contains bank or credit card details.
- Sell information about your business and customers to competitors.
- Gain access to your cyber systems if passwords and other relevant data are printed out and thrown out in the insecure waste. That could lead to online data theft.
- Find details of staff rotas and shifts, and details of when your business premises are empty. Imagine what thieves and burglars could do with that information.
What action could you face?
The ICO has issued actions including notices to comply with data protection rules and substantial fines during 2016.
The largest fine it issued was to Talk Talk for £400,000, which was a record fine, while one care home in Northern Ireland was fined £15,000.
Any business which suffers a data breach may well also find itself liable in the courts for any financial loss customers face as a result of the breach.
Health companies are vulnerable to data breaches
Companies operating in the health sector should be particularly wary of how they deal with paperwork, the ICO says, because of the level of detail which is often contained in patient reports and medical records.
They often contain national insurance numbers, names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and details of prescribed medicines
So, for care homes, care providers, therapists, doctors, physiotherapists, chiropractors, dentists, and opticians, having a secure method of dealing with confidential waste is vital.
What can you do?
Ensure your confidential waste is deal with securely by employing a company which is experienced in helping businesses comply with the law – like Inspire Waste.
All the confidential waste we process is collected by BS7858-vetted staff and destroyed or recycled to the BS15713 standard – complying with the code of practice for securely destroying confidential information.