August 17, 2018

Go green while protecting confidential data this World Environment Day

Singapore, 17 May 2018 – Singapore’s leading information security company Shred-it joins companies around the world in commemorating World Environment Day. Held annually on 5th June, World Environment Day aims to spread global awareness of emerging environmental issues from marine pollution, sustainable consumption and global warming. Shred-it shares the goal of environmental protection with other like-minded organisations and encourages companies to safeguard their physical data while protecting the environment at the same time.
The connection between recycling and data security
Over the years, the green agenda has been gaining importance in Singapore, with more initiatives being implemented to improve recycling efficiency and even a compulsory e-waste management system to be enforced by 2021. With 85% of business documents existing in paper form, organisations may place a greater emphasis on recycling their physical documents. It is common practice to dispose paper in open recycling bins and which exposes confidential information; leaving individuals at risks of identity theft. Furthermore, documents that are collected for recycling purposes may also be handled by unvetted staff and sold for recycling. This prevents the personal data contained in those papers from being securely destroyed, making it easier for information thieves to steal personal data.
With the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) recently imposing hefty fines on various companies in Singapore for data security non-compliance, companies need to exercise more caution in protecting the personal data they store. Companies can be fined up to S$1 million for serious breaches of Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), and up to €20 million or 4% of their organisation’s global turnover under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) if their company provides services to European Union (EU) residents. Companies will also face the cost of reputational damage and customer loss.  
Shred-it helps companies recycle and protect their data
To ensure maximum data security in recycling efforts, Shred-it ensures a strict chain of custody and oversees the document destruction process to the last detail before certifying the destruction of paper documents and electronic waste. Shred-it consoles are kept locked to prevent documents from being retrieved which contributes to a culture of security in the workplace. With the assurance that every piece of paper deposited into a Shred-it console ends up being shredded and recycled, businesses are able to fulfill their organisation’s sustainability goals and ensure that personal data is always securely destroyed.
“It is vital for companies and individuals to realise that looking out for the environment and data security are not mutually exclusive. World Environment Day serves as a reminder of the importance of environmental conservation, which is just as quintessential as protecting our own data in the face of a globalised world where unlimited personal data access and breaches are becoming commonplace”, said Duncan Brown, General Manager, Shred-it Singapore and Regional Market Development EMEA/APAC, Stericycle.