November 21, 2019

A Secure Start To The New Year

With Chinese New Year just around the corner, offices in Singapore usually take this opportunity to start anew by spring cleaning. Some organisations even embark on a new adventure by moving offices. Whether your organisation is doing away with the old to make room for the new or moving to a new space, there is an increased risk of a data breach occurring.
Physical documents such as payroll, confidential customer data, and hard disk drives can be overlooked during disposal. The onus is on organisations to keep such data safe at all costs, as mandated by the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) in Singapore. Failure to abide by the rules can be costly for organisations, due to hefty penalties for non-compliance and reputational loss.

Here are a few simple steps to remain compliant in the new year:
  • Engage in a secure data destruction provider
    Using an in-house shredder or simply discarding unwanted documents in a regular bin may save your organisation some annual budget. However, in the long run it may expose your organisation to various security risks such as business fraud and data breaches. Recovering from such issues can be both time-consuming and costly compared to engaging a secure third-party data destruction provider. One of the advantages of having a third-party provider, such as Shred-it, is that only trained professionals are authorised to handle confidential data, under strict procedures. Additionally, the staff are also able to handle e-waste, such as hard disk drives. With Shred-it’s cross-cut methods, all shredded documents and hard disk drives are completely irretrievable, making them safe to recycle afterwards.
  • Conduct regular internal data risk assessments
    In recent years, studies have shown that one of the largest security threats to an organisation is employee negligence, which has results in various cases of data leaks and breaches.1 It is critical for every organisation to conduct regular risk assessments and identify potential risk areas. Such assessments enable organisations to implement or update data security policies and practices that will further safeguard their information. This process also ensures that organisations are compliant with the PDPC and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Implement sound data protection policies
    Data security threats are evolving each year and organisations need to keep abreast of the latest practices. By implementing the right policies, employees will be armed with the proper protocol when it comes to protecting confidential information. Organisations can implement different policies, such as the Shred-it All Policy and Clean Desk Policy. Internal and external audits can also be done to ensure policy effectiveness and risk framework of the organisation. 
  • Appoint a DPO
    As mandated by the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), all organisations in Singapore are required to appoint at least one Data Protection Officer (DPO) to oversee the organisation’s data protection practices.

The new year is often an ideal time for a new beginning. Start your organisation on the right foot this year with strong data protection protocols and policies. This reduces the risk of a data breach and improves your organisation’s brand name and reputation.
Start protecting your business
An organisation that integrates data protection into its business processes can reduce data breach risks and PDPA non-compliance. Learn more about how Shred-it can protect your documents and hard-drives by contacting us for a free quote and security risk assessment.