Employee Error and Data Breach1

Employee Error and Data Breach

Employee Error and Data Breach

More than one-third of data breaches are the result of employee negligence, error, or intentional acts. When it comes to business information on paper, you have a simple solution, and that’s on-site shredding services.

Let’s look at how employees can cause confidential information to be leaked.

1. Innocent Mistakes

First, you must realize that an innocent error can do as much damage as an intentional act. Your business has confidential information like pricing, client lists, and accounting records on paper documents. That information is very valuable to your competition. The personal information of your clients, patients, and employees are the target of identity thieves. If one of your employees puts any of the information in paper form into the trash, then your company is being potentially exposed to a data breach. If one of your employees takes any company documents out of the office and they are left on a train or in a cab, that’s a data breach.

Solution — Stop putting any paper documents into the trash. Instead, hire a professional document destruction company to shred all paper in your office that is being thrown away. This is done by the new vendor providing special locking containers for your staff to dispose of all paper files in. Your staff will never put paper anywhere else going ahead. Then the destruction company will come to your office on an ongoing schedule to empty and destroy the contents of the locked containers. For any files leaving the office, they must be inventoried and signed out. Then they must be checked and signed back in when they are returned. You may also consider a restriction that no files may leave the office, if that is practical for your business.

2. Careless or Negligent Acts

When an employee just doesn’t care, that kind of unpredictable behavior cannot be tolerated. Leaving confidential documents on top of a desk, in a copier, or leaving payroll records in a conference room for anyone to see are examples of carelessness that cannot be allowed and must result in a re-evaluation of that employee.

Solution — Retraining, change in responsibility, or termination must be considered

3. Intentional or Malicious

A disgruntled employee can be the cause of many problems, including information breaches. The first thing you need to do is recognize a problem employee. Be aware of these signs:

  • Constantly late or absenteeism
  • They only do the bare minimum at work
  • Voice dissatisfaction when others are promoted
  • Poor attitude at work
  • Constant need for recognition

Solution — You must meet the problem head on. First, sit down with the employee to discuss what the problem is. In some cases, you may determine that it is something that cannot be fixed. If you believe that the employee is eager to do better consider retraining, position change, or counseling.

Other Actions to Consider

Another action you may want to consider is to increase employee awareness on information security. A company-wide information protection training for all employees will help ensure that all of your staff is aware of the potential impact of their actions or inactions and how to avoid a data breach.

Keep Information Secure

Keep file rooms and file cabinets locked, and only give authorized staff access to the information they need in the performance of their job tasks. Consider installing a closed circuit camera system that can be reviewed when necessary. That fact that they are in place may be enough of a deterrent.

FileShred is a local document shredding company that services the document destruction needs of residents and businesses in Connecticut and the Springfield, Massachusetts area. Need help with securely destroying confidential records? Give us a call or visit our website at www.fileshred.net.