Posted on May 29, 2017

Identity Theft Using Printed Documents

In today’s technology-driven and internet connected world, the requirement for every business to incorporate protection for their proprietary data is now being considered part of doing business and is an integral part of company budgets. The cost in both monetary and reputation involved in identity theft has been so high that it has pushed some companies out of business. Every organization, whether brick and mortar, web presence or both, must include all aspects of potential identity theft, including technology as well as old-school access.

The medical industry has incredible layers of technology protection via HIPAA guidelines and rules. However, according to the Annual Report on Consumer Fraud, 2011, identity theft continues to increase. Additional reports from technology companies are now showing that one in three individuals have been the victim of identity theft and this is the fastest growing consumer fraud form.

The thieves that are involved in these dastardly deeds focus on any and all methods that can be used to steal data and information. From system breaches involving organized attacks to Trojans sent via email, they supply a never-ending barrage of forms. While we may not want to consider it, the truth is that the threats can appear from employees, competitors, partners, third-parties and even suppliers.

Cybersecurity may be on the top of the list, with additional protection added via firewalls and IT staff, but even in the largest corporations, breaches are often not identified for almost three months. And even when they are identified, many companies do not comply with the requirements of reporting them.

But cyber theft is just one of the methods that is used by the criminals. While focus is being placed on cybersecurity, the thieves are also moving into old school document theft. This is occurring on all levels where documents are left in dumpsters or recycling, without the benefit of shredding. The data that is contained on these printed documents run the gamut from proprietary company information to patient/customer data. The thieves will go to any extent to access, and for those organizations that do not require shredding, they are setting themselves up for an identity fall.

All of the encryption, security staff, firewalls and cloud storage will not protect your information if it is casually left in plain access for thieves. And if you were wondering how long it would take for the distribution of this data to the dark net for sale? The average time is around twenty four hours with a test study showing that in less than a week, the information can be shared with countries and cybercriminals all over the world.

Taking additional steps to shred your important documents is part of the protection for your business and the critical customer/patient data. Many companies are no longer relying on their staff to accommodate the shredding process, but are hiring outside vendors that guarantee the work.


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