Survey Shows Small Business Owners Lack Policies for Confidential Paper Files

From:  Security Shredding News, Summer 2017.

Weak risk management could be making small businesses vulnerable to data theft, IPSOS, an independent market research company.  The company just released its findings of its 7th annual Shred It Information Security Tracker Survey.

Conducting an online poll of shredding customers, Ipsos found that 39 percent of American small business owners lack any sort of policy for managing their confidential paper.  Three in ten small businesses think that loss or theft of paper documents would not damage their organization, while three in ten think that a potential data breach wouldn’t have a significant impact on their company.

American C-suite executives express particularly cavalier opinions toward preventing data theft via paper files.  Of those who have no policy for managing confidential paper documents, 6 percent indicated that document theft would not hurt their business, while 1 percent said they believed a data breach would have significant impact.

The survey findings show that close to 40 percent of the C-suite executives surveyed expect their organizational paper volume to increase over the next year.  Almost half of small business owners shred all documents, but confidential and not.  Yet just one in ten say they keep their confidential documents in a locked console in the office until a professional shredding company destroys the materials.

Regular document destruction and electronic device disposal events have been declining, too.  The survey showed that confidence in secure destruction of both paper and electronic media seems to be decreasing.

Strong understanding of compliance issues, reinforced by training on company information security procedures are most prevalent in financial, legal and insurance industries.

In the retail sector, about 65 percent of the survey respondents indicated a good understanding of the legal requirements for storing, keeping or disposing of confidential materials.  Yet only 12 percent said they use a locked container and a professional shredding service.

Overall, the respondents working in each of the four main small business sectors – retail, public services, real estate and business services – indicated weak policies and inconsistency for dealing with confidential papers and electronic device disposal and destruction.

At Tiger Shredding & Recycling, we believe it is better to be safe than to be sorry – and we suggest that all businesses, both large and small, implement a shred everything policy.  Give us a shout today, and we’ll show you how easy (and inexpensive) it is to shred everything.  Tiger Shredding & Recycling offers secure paper shredding services in New Orleans, Lafayette and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.