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By: laurencem on June 8th, 2018

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The Data Breach Threat Hidden in Your Paper Files


When an Indiana nonprofit health organization left cardboard boxes of patient information unattended on a driveway, it led to an $800,000 HIPAA penalty, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That mishandling of paperwork illustrates the often-overlooked physical side of data security. In this article, learn several physical security steps to protect your company against a costly data breach.

Track all shipments of paper files.

When shipping hard copies of sensitive data, use an overnight service that provides real-time tracking and delivery confirmation. Keep your records of tracking numbers and other shipping information encrypted and password-protected.

Log all visits to storage facilities.

logging visits to storage facilities

If your paper files are physically stored outside your office, keep detailed records on every visit. Limit access to only those staff members who need it to perform job functions.

Control access to your facilities.

Use badges, keys, or other devices to stop unauthorized persons from entering your facilities. Establish a security protocol so that employees have a point of contact if they see an unfamiliar person on-site.

Lock up all sensitive documents at the end of the day.

locked cabinet with sensitive documents

This includes not only paper files, but also flash drives and backups. Institute a "clean desk" policy and ensure compliance by doing periodic walk-throughs after hours.

Check all locks before closing.

Establish a routine of logging off all computers, locking all file cabinets, and checking all door locks at the close of business.

Secure all devices used to collect sensitive information.

security for devices

Any devices that collect data, such as PIN pads or point-of-sale tablets, present a possible entry point for data thieves. Have your Managed IT Services Provider regularly update, secure, and inventory these devices to prevent tampering.

Get a regular security audit to protect against a data breach.

New threats are constantly emerging, so keeping your security up-to-date is mission-critical. As a leading managed IT services provider, Intelligent Technical Solutions offers complete security packages that outperform the competition. For a free security audit, contact ITS today.New call-to-action