Why Shredding Is A Must For Companies That Are Closing Their Doors
Every year, around one in 12 businesses close their doors according to the Small Business Administration. That’s more than half a million companies that have an information security problem to deal with. No matter the industry, companies have information that, if stolen, could cause ongoing financial penalties, legal action and loss of reputation.
A proper information disposal plan prevents this, and professional shredding services are an important part of that plan. Here’s why:
1. Expert guidance – There are hundreds of laws designed to protect customer data, and when a company closes its doors, following all of those laws can be an intimidating challenge.
Experienced shredding services are familiar with these laws at the state and federal level. They know what types of information constitute regulatory violations and can help their clients find and organize it. This is particularly important for businesses that are looking toward liquidating their assets or just transitioning to a new facility. It’s easy for sensitive information to be overlooked in these instances, but an experienced shredder will help identify it, contain it and deal with it appropriately.
2. It’s the only way to be sure – If not disposed of properly, information is easy to steal. It can be read off of a paper document, ripped off of a hard drive or found on an old ID badge. When a business is closing its doors, this material has to go somewhere, and if it’s to the dumpster or landfill, it’s a lingering security threat. If that information is used against someone, the ongoing legal consequences could take years to resolve.
According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, many companies that experience a data breach go out of business within six months of the breach. If your company is downsizing or attempting to recover, stolen information will put the business at risk.
That’s a risk that companies can’t afford, and one that’s easy to mitigate with the help of an experienced shredding service. When sensitive information is trusted to a reputable service, it is run through commercial-grade shredding equipment. These powerful shredders reduce material to pieces that are impossible to reconstitute. In fact, reputable information disposal companies exceed federal regulations regarding disposal methods.
Further, the destroyed material is aggregated with material from other sources, so even if someone did have access to the confetti-like pieces of paper, plastic and metal, they would have no way of knowing what came from where. Most destroyed material is recyclable too, so much of it never sees a landfill, but is instead put back into circulation.
In short, there’s much more to information disposal than shred and toss. With so many layers of security in place, there’s nothing for information thieves to find.
3. Uniforms and ID badges need to be dealt with too – When companies consider information security, they think paper documents and data first. However, there are other ways for identity thieves to access information and potentially damage your company’s reputation.
For example, an information thief could steal a uniform or ID badge to assume the identity of one of your company’s employees for nefarious reasons. Once they do, the thief might access the company’s facilities to look for information or steal assets. They might present themselves as an employee to others to access other areas they shouldn’t. This might be done with your company’s branding plainly visible, or under the guise of a former employee. In either case, the reputation-damaging potential is immense.
Even if leftover uniforms or ID badges have no identifying information on them, they can still be used to steal that information, so they should be incorporated into any information disposal plan.
4. Extensive shredding capabilities – Information comes in many forms and businesses closing their doors need to consider them all. Paper records represent only one potential security threat. Stolen data, uniforms, license plates, optical disks and ID badges are others, and the shredders that you can buy off the shelf aren’t equipped to handle them.
However, an experienced shredding service is. They have commercial-grade equipment that is capable of tearing through plastic and metal in high volumes. This high throughput offers convenience because it means everything can go into one shredder, instead of devising separate solutions for every type of material. It also offers efficiency, as more material can be destroyed in less time.
That efficiency adds up to greater security. The less time potential security threats are allowed to remain, the better. A professional shredding service can destroy sensitive information quickly.
5. Security-focused processes – A professional shredding service’s reputation is based on their ability to prevent information theft. That’s why professional services organize their processes for maximum security. In fact, a reputable shredder offers a secure chain of custody, so every step of the way is checked and double checked. The client’s information is scanned and logged before it is transported to the shredding facility, and checked again once it arrives. Everything is immediately unloaded and destroyed, so there are no gaps in security.
Companies that are closing their doors can rely on this chain of custody to securely destroy anything sensitive. Some companies prefer to have a witness available to confirm destruction, and a professional service can accommodate this if they offer onsite shredding. During shredding, multiple cameras inside the truck allow the witness to see the process in motion and confirm information destruction.
Following destruction, the professional shredding service will provide a certificate that verifies the process. This will be useful if proof is needed at a later date.
6. Onsite services available – When a company closes its doors, it may not be immediately clear how much material will need to be destroyed. One way to account for this is to schedule onsite shredding services. During onsite shredding, the truck and equipment are brought to the company’s facilities and destroys information onsite. If more documents or hardware are found after the shredding truck leaves, additional onsite services can be arranged.
There’s a lot to manage when a business closes its doors, including information security. A professional shredding service can assist companies with this, helping identify, organize and destroy anything that could result in theft and leave the company vulnerable.