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Why It’s Time to Change the Corporate Mindset About Data Security

December 10, 2020


Two questions. First, how important is the security of digital data to your company? Second, how important is paper shredding to your company?

Of course, considering the regular breaches of digital security reported by all types and sizes of businesses – a phenomenon that is on the rise – securing your digital data may be crucial to your company’s very existence.

We can talk numbers (almost two-thirds of businesses experienced some form of a cybersecurity attack in 2018), but if you want to see the extent of the problem for yourself, google “cybersecurity attacks” and click the “News’ option in your search engine.

While we got almost two billion results, perhaps the most important thing is how many were news reports within the last day. Yes, they’re not all about cases of cybersecurity attacks, but the fact that there is so much constant news information about them speaks volumes.

That said, we suspect the emphasis on paper shredding isn’t quite as keen as on digital security. When we googled “paper-based data security attacks” we got less than 6,000 results.

Interestingly, one of the results we got was an article about study results that showed paper records are the most common source of data breaches in hospitals.

3 Reasons for the Corporate Mindset About Data Security

If your company’s attitudes to paper-based data are in line or closer to the situation in our simple unscientific google-search test, then it’s clearly time to start changing the company’s attitudes about data security.

  1. Every Piece of Paper has Data – At least if it’s been written upon. The data may be an innocuous lunch order. But, too often, seemingly innocuous data can be as sensitive as anything online. A lost post-it with customer information can be as costly to the company as losing similar digital data.
  2. Paper Records Are More Easily Lost Than You Think – We can’t count the number of stories we’ve heard about corporate documents blowing away in the wind while being loaded into a garbage or recycling bin or truck. That’s not OK. And anything left on a person’s desk, even during business hours, is just like leaving a digital file open on their workstation.
  3. The Data on a Piece of Paper is not “Protected” Until its Certifiably Destroyed – The data on every piece of paper in your company is at risk as long as the piece of paper exists. And it might “exist” even after it has been shredded (because the data may still be able to be reconstructed) unless it has been shredded to National Association of Information Destruction (NAID) AAA standards. 

Find out more about paper documents in our article “This is Why We Won’t Be a Paperless Society Anytime Soon”.


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