• The significance of building a data protection culture

        • Data protection regulations are clear and have been for some time now. So why are organisations still tripping up? Mark Harper of HSM investigates how a lack of company culture may be affecting their approach to data protection.

          Back in May 2018, GDPR came as a culture shock to many. But in reality, it never should have been like that. Despite organisations claiming that sensitive and confidential customer information was being used in the right way, it wasn’t. The benchmark was raised. Many businesses had become too complacent and the blurred lines of what was the right and wrong way of processing sensitive data had suddenly been made a lot clearer.

          For some, their methods and ideologies didn’t change much, meaning internal culture towards data protection remained the same. But as new data protection cases continue to make the headlines, it’s clear that outdated methods and cultures simply won’t cut it anymore.

          With data security experts continually reminding businesses to move away from a ‘tick box’ mentality, how should organisations force that change? Well, aside from data protection officers, the responsibility falls under directors and upper management. Company culture needs to be driven from the top and developed throughout.

          Education plays a huge role in the success of this. Although we can’t expect each individual to understand the ins and outs of data protection, courses and expert guidance is now (and has been for some time) readily available. For example, the key to sensitive data destruction is appropriate levels of security.

          Under GDPR, strip-cut shredding levels P-1 and P-2 simply can’t be considered to provide adequate protection for personal data. And while tailored advice on how to remain compliant is available, most organisations should consider a minimum standard of P-4 crosscut or P-5 micro-cut levels of security. By sharing that guidance, both individuals and larger departments can understand the responsibilities of the business, accountability and how to approach their role throughout the process of data destruction.

          In addition, business leaders must set aside a budget for robust data destruction methods. Without it, cheaper alternatives are sought, which can bring with them unsightly and highly expensive results. As most security experts agree, for confidential paper documents, the most secure method of destroying data is using an internal shredder at the correct security level. For larger departments, this may mean multiple shredders are needed to ensure each individual can complete their role effectively.

          And while the approach to methods may differ depending on factors such as facility size or information processes, there are best practices that can be ingrained into almost any company culture. For example, many security experts promote a ‘shred little and often’ approach to ensure paper documents don’t build up and are subsequently at risk of loss or theft. 

          By implementing these small, but positive changes to sensitive data destruction procedures, - that is enthusiastically backed by senior management - an organisation can feel comfortable in knowing that they have done everything they can to apply a positive data protection culture.

          As we approach a new era of GDPR, organisations need to truly reflect on whether they themselves must enter a new era of internal data protection culture.

          All departments, from top to bottom, should be proactive in deciding whether their sensitive document destruction procedure is appropriate to their real requirements. Only when businesses have a holistic approach to data protection culture can they be sure that they’re tackling document security correctly.

        • Stay up to date - Click here and register for FREE Channel Info online membership and enjoy unlimited access to a host of benefits including the exclusive members area of the website, downloadable business tools, current and back issues archive, priority breaking news alerts, weekly e news summary and the Channel Info app

        • Related Articles

        • Cloud security challenges result of limited IT staff and budget

          Cloud security challenges result of limited IT staff and budget

          Tuesday 12th Jan 2021
          Cybersecurity vendor, Netwrix has announced the release of its global 2021 Netwrix Cloud Data Security Report. The report is based on feedback from 937 IT professionals worldwide who use private and public cloud services to store their data. Th...Read More...
          Five ways employers can combat team's January blues

          Five ways employers can combat team's January blues

          Tuesday 5th Jan 2021
          Every year, one in four of us will have a mental health problem according to Mind, with the COVID-19 pandemic placing further strain on our mental wellbeing. This means it is more than likely that a member of your team could be living with mental hea...Read More...
          Training for channel partners more important now than ever

          Training for channel partners more important now than ever

          Thursday 26th Nov 2020
          As organisations of all shapes and sizes continue to struggle, cutbacks to various parts of the business are understandable. However, unified communications and collaboration specialist TelcoSwitch believes that now is the time for technolo...Read More...
                • About Us

                  Channel Info is the leading source of business news and information for the office dealer and reseller market. Our multi-platform approach delivers relevant, engaging and focussed content via our main printed magazine, supplements, website, digital editions, apps, newsletters and bespoke communications with an unrivalled reach across the industry. A highly trusted and respected brand for many years, the team behind Channel Info has over 60 years experience collectively in the office products, furniture, equipment and technology markets Channel Info continues to develop and adapt in order to meet the changing information needs of its readers.

                  For our latest Media packs and more details on our range of services click here

                • View Latest Issue