July 14, 2017

The Hidden Costs of An Office Paper Shredder That You Should Consider

Workplaces that handle sensitive information – and that would cover nearly every business or organisation – have to adhere to rigorous document destruction policies. While the up-front cost of a paper shredder appears to provide an inexpensive way to destroy confidential documents, it's important to know that using an office shredder can be much costlier – and more risky – than you think.

The risks of using an office paper shredder

Equipment: While an office shredder may have an attractive up-front price tag, there are additional maintenance, replacement, and cleaning costs to consider. Plus, shredding large amounts of paper in-house can produce a fine dust that can affect the health of employees.

Instead: A reliable document shredding service securely removes documents from the workplace for on or off-site shredding with industrial grade equipment.

Labour: There are time and productivity costs when your employees have to spend their valuable time shredding documents. They will have to remove paper clips and staples (most office shredders can’t handle anything but paper), arrange documents into easily-shredded portions, manually feed paper into the shredder, empty receptacles, and clean up.
Instead: A secure shredding service simplifies and streamlines document destruction by providing locked consoles and allowing whole files, including staples and paperclips, to be dropped inside. Contents will be securely removed regularly by screened security professionals.

Employee error: Office shredding can leave decisions about whether or not to destroy documents up to employees. But research has shown that employee negligence is a significant threat to information security. The 2017 Ponemon Cost of a Data Breach study found that 28% of all data breaches were caused by human error.
Instead: A secure shredding service provides a chain of custody from the moment documents are put into locked consoles until they are securely destroyed. Implementing a Shred-it All Policy is a best practice to further reduce the risk of human error.

Ineffective shredding: Office-grade shredders often cut paper into long strips that can actually be pieced back together – this increases the risk of a security breach. A breach can significantly damage a company’s reputation, and there are real financial costs too. The Ponemon study showed that the cost of each lost or stolen record containing confidential data now stands at €111.
Instead: A professional shredding service uses industrial grade equipment, which crosscuts documents into confetti-sized pieces that cannot be reassembled.

Non-compliance: Serious breaches of the Data Protection Act will result in fines of up to €100,000. Enforcement of the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), is due to start in May 2018, with punitive fines of up to 4% of global turnover or €20m for companies that fail to protect confidential information. Employees whose task it is to carry out the shredding usually do not have proper training in document security, retention and disposal. Plus, there is no documented proof of secure document destruction when shredding in-house. 
Instead: A secure shredding service helps organisations meet compliance requirements by issuing a Certificate of Destruction after every shred, providing a documented audit trail.

Learn more about how outsourcing document security can protect your business.

Start Protecting Your Business

To learn more about how Shred-it can protect your documents and hard drives, please contact us to get a free quote and data security survey.