10 Signs Your Office Is A Ticking Time Bomb For A Data Breach

Privacy is what makes most big companies rule their industries. If they fail to protect their clientele’s sensitive information, it will be raining lawsuits and penalties. Most of the time, big companies can survive the hit of a data breach, but for you who have a startup or a medium-sized business, it might take an irreversible toll. By now, you should know how to organize a messy office because it only takes a single bin dive to have your business exploding with legal charges.

Here, I listed 10 sings that you might be at the risk of a data breach.

1. Junk mails are everywhere

Never underestimate the power of junk mails. Just one lost mail can be the root of a problematic data breach that can compromise your assets or even your tax returns. If you just toss these mails in the coffee table, anyone can access it and see personal information about you.

It’s for sure that banks or the IRS may not print every information about you on a single mail. Still, it contains PII that can be used by scrupulous fraudsters.

2. You keep storing piles of old documents

Old documents can start either a literal fire or a metaphorical one in the form of lawsuits and penalties. The Federal Trade Commission imposes sanctions on companies that won’t comply with their standards. As an organization governing consumer protection, they have a ruling on the retention and disposal of documents. Some documents and materials are required to be shredded. Take note that failure to comply means hefty fines or even suspension for a massive data breach.

how to organize a messy office

3. You don’t have limitations on your BYOD freedom

BYOD or Bring Your Own Device is one of the perks most companies give their employees so they can work in the comfort of their own devices. But if you don’t regulate this freedom, you’ll be exposed to a high risk of data breach more than you know. This may not be a way on how to organize a messy office, but BYOD is definitely an avenue for data theft.

Regulating BYOD means you should have limitations on the systems your employees can access using their devices. You should also make sure that they have no means of copying any documents you have.

4. You’re not complying with HIPAA

For institutions handling medical records, it’s a requirement to comply with the standards of the HIPAA. The rules cover the handling and securing of medical records of patients being stored by medical practitioners, clearinghouses, and other related companies. If you’re handling such documents, you’re not exempted from this.

You should know that medical records rank second as the most breached data since 2013. If you’re not complying with HIPAA, you should start the assessment now.

5. You don’t have a solid plan for document privacy

Every business is expected to have a privacy protocol when it comes to handling documents. If your organization or business doesn’t have it yet, expect a data breach in the works. Without a solid plan, anyone can bring out documents they’re not supposed to be accessing. A privacy plan would also pose sanctions to employees who will breach the security.

how to organize a messy office

6. Your staff keep on throwing documents in the trash

If your employees are just ditching official documents in the trash, just imagine who else can take hold of it in the dumpsite. Bin diving is a legal thing in the U.S. and if someone got your files, you’re the one who will answer to the law. If this is your way of how to organize a messy office, you might need to reassess it.

If the irresponsible disposal of documents in your office is almost a normal thing, your whole business is a ticking time bomb for a possible data breach.

7. Your office desk is a sea of paper

An office desk filled with piles of paper speaks of one thing about your company: disorganization. Chances are half of the sheets in the pile are due for shredding or can be disposed of already. If you don’t fix this, you’ll have a hard time keeping track of what documents are going in and out of your office. Anyone can steal something and you have no way of knowing.

Somehow, your office desk is a reflection of your work ethics. If it’s always cramped up, your mind is also in a rumble.

8. You don’t have an IT team or manager

You hire IT managers not just for luxury but because they are the people who know how to deal with the digital side of a breach. Thieves won’t just stop by your office and steal wads of documents. Most of the time, they’re just lurking on your system while harvesting your files. If you have no one to detect it, you’re on the blind and losing side. One way of how to organize a messy office is removing the digital clutter too.

how to organize a messy office

9. Your cloud system isn’t secured

Somehow, this is related to your lack of an IT team. When you have no one to do the techie stuff, your system is in full view for almost every IT geek outside. It’s like lacking a firewall during an actual fire. It will engulf your whole house in flames and leave nothing but ashes. If you have the budget, hire an IT geek to secure and test your office’s cloud system.

10. You don’t have a shredder

A shredder isn’t just an equipment you’ll buy when you have the extra money. Remember that the FTC requires you to shred some documents. Paying a third-party to do it for you might cost you more in the long run instead of buying your own machine. Some decent models can be as low as $50 or as affordable and reliable at $100.

If you know how to organize a messy office, you’re reducing your risk of a data breach. So start picking up those junk mails and shredding it with a reliable shredder. It’s also the best time to start complying with the rules so you won’t be slapped with legal complications in the future. What do you think of these signs? Let us know in the comment section!