The coronavirus pandemic has seen large numbers of UK employees work from home. As lockdown begins to lift, many of these workers will begin to transition back into working environments. During this time, businesses should be vigilant in how they communicate data security to employees. Doing so will avoid any confusion, and also safeguard commercial confidential waste.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), whilst acknowledging that businesses may be prioritising other business areas during the pandemic, data security law still applies and should be adhered to at all times. This includes the secure disposal of confidential data. While efforts will be made by the ICO to empathise with individual cases, good business practice will be to get a plan in place to safeguard confidential information.
What does this mean for data security measures?
Remote employees may believe it’s okay to dispose of commercial waste in their own bins to avoid clutter at home. However, this is far from okay. This could be a huge data security risk for businesses across the country. Confidential information left in unsecure bins risks a data breach, and doing so could result in huge fines. Not only that, but thieves could also use the data maliciously to commit crimes such as fraud. One of the best ways of protecting confidential information is to ensure proper destruction when no longer needed. To comply with data protection law, businesses must be able to prove that they are destroying confidential paper safely.
When employees work from home, businesses must ensure that their remote employees dispose of confidential waste securely. There are many available solutions for this. Businesses could provide employees with a bag or box to temporarily store confidential information. They could also schedule shredding collections for remote employees, or even organise a safe schedule whereby employees can drop their confidential waste off at the workplace, into confidential waste bins.
What data security advice has the government issued for businesses?
The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) is the UK’s governing authority that provides organisations with protective security advice. The CPNI has also issued a thorough guide for businesses, providing guidance on how to maintain both physical security and data security as the country slowly transitions out of lockdown.
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