It seems like every week we hear about another data breach or learn that a previously discovered breach went much further than we had first suspected. In the age where information acquisition holds a high value for hackers and thieves, more so than physical goods, it’s important to know the risks we face, and what options we have to protect ourselves. Information management is evolving into more than just organizing and archiving files. It is now also the process of protecting and safe guarding your information and the personal information of your clients and partners. Earlier this year George Washington University Law Professor Daniel Solove posted an article on LinkedIn about the rising risk of data breaches and just how far some are willing to take “cyber crime.” All businesses are at risk of being compromised, but in 2014 the FBI issued a statement that healthcare industries are particularly at risk because of the wealth of information they house. From personal information and social security numbers, to health insurance records, and historical data, their files contain all the information someone would need to create havoc, if it fell into the right hands. In his article Solove discusses some of the lengths these criminals go to and how cyber crime is often hard to detect until the information is already compromised. As scary as it seems, and as much as it seems out of your control, it is important to ensure that you are taking every step possible to protect the data of your clients and consumers. Solove says it best when he says “Privacy and security are not just about protecting data; they are about protecting people (1).”
While measures certainly need to be taken to ensure the security of your online information systems and live data, it’s also worth considering what you are doing with your paper documents OR your outdated electronic devices that once housed that information. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that 9 million Americans have their identity stolen each year (2). As old fashioned as it might seem, dumpster diving is a huge way that these thieves are able to obtain your information. Imagine what you throw away in a day, possibly bank statements, outdated files, old memory discs or laptops, your old cell phone, junk mail, the list goes on and on. Criminals know that if they search hard enough they can find the right pieces of information to string together to steal your identity, which is why working with professionals to help you manage that process is a huge step in the right direction.
Augusta Data Storage is equipped to help you securely discard not only paper waste, but electronic waste. The process is simple, you don’t even have to leave your office building to take these extra steps to protect your information, we will come to you! With our document shredding service we can place bins at your facility and come for scheduled pick-up and destruction dates on-site with our mobile shred trucks, or at our NAID AAA certified facility. Have a few out-dated electronic devices that you have been debating “wiping clean” and tossing in the trash? Don’t! Those items can hold data even after you think it has been deleted. Our e-solutions process can be put into place to help you properly dispose of all your old hard drives, memory boards, and other data storing devices. The best part is, we can pick it all up and destroy it for you, no stress on your end! In addition to protecting your information, each of these processes is designed to help lessen the environmental impact of day-to-day business operations. The paper waste is shredded and destroyed electronic commodities are recycled to make new products with a smaller footprint! Our team wants to partner with you to make your business operation more safe and secure for your employees, your clients, and the planet, so contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!
1.The Health Data Breach and ID Theft Epidemic – Daniel Solove, March 2015
2. Crime Library – Identity Theft (http://www.crimemuseum.org/crime-library/identity-theft)