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15 December 2017

Document Shredding Helps Prevent Corporate Espionage

Stealing your business’s information is one of the oldest forms of information theft. Corporate Espionage is as old as business itself and it will continue forever so you have to protect yourself against it. The more successful your business gets the more of a target you become. In some ways it has stayed the same, and in other ways it has gotten more sophisticated to keep up with the advancement in technology.

Either way, there are professional spies or competitors that will target your company’s client lists, pricing, financial information and trade secrets. The people that carry out these attacks are experienced and know that your information is in many places, and they will exploit your weakest point. With this in mind, your information security must be comprehensive to protect all areas and mediums where your information is stored.

corporate espionage


Risk Assessment

Start by knowing where your information is. It is in many forms such as hard copy documents, computers, backup tapes, flash drives and external hard drives and the cloud to name a few. After this, determine how they are protected. Are documents stored in locked file cabinets or locked storage rooms with only designated people having the keys? Is your electronic information encrypted? Is your network password protected? Do you have a firewall to protect your network? These are just a few of the critical questions you have to ask yourself; there are many more.

Create an Information Protection Policy

Put together a written Information Protection Policy that addresses the use, security and final disposition of each medium that stores your information. Then train each of your staff on the Program, and have them sign an acknowledgement that they have been trained and have an annual refresher. You will also need to review your policy annually to see if it needs to be updated in any way.

Shred Documents

You may be surprised to learn that the majority of information that is stolen is in the physical form such as paper business records.  Companies should have a shred all documents policy before they are thrown away. Contact a local document shredding company to set up a regular ongoing shredding service. The document destruction service will provide you with security containers for all of your paper records to be disposed of in. You will no longer put any documents in the regular trash. Then the company will come to your location and empty and shred the contents of the security containers. Make sure you use an onsite shredding service where a paper shredding truck comes to you to destroy your files.

Physical Security

Secure all necessary printed documents in a locked file room or file cabinet. Keep the cabinets locked when the cabinets are not in use. This prevents employees or other parties from stealing documents or copying documents.

You Need To Protect Client Information Also

Your company information needs to be protected but also the private information of your clients such as financial information, trade information, addresses, social security numbers, account numbers and credit card numbers. The theft of this information could cause personal hardships for your clients plus a loss of confidence in your company not to mention possible fines and sanction by government authorities.

Ex-employee Policy

Employees that have given notice or terminated could be an exposure to your company for business espionage. You should have a process in place that denies them access to any of your information immediately. Also consider non-compete and non-disclosure agreements for all employees. With these in place it may stop an employee or ex-employee from ever considering stealing information because of the legal consequences.

Time Shred Services is a local document shredding service that provides onsite document destruction to businesses and residents in New York City, Long Island, Westchester and New Jersey. For more information about our mobile shredding service give us a call or visit our website at


Jim Dowse, CSDS

Jim Dowse is the COO of Time Shred Services. Jim has over 35 years’ experience in the document management and document shredding industry and runs Time Shred Services with a staff of the most accomplished professionals in the document destruction industry. Under Jim’s leadership Time Shred has grown to be the largest locally owned Document Shredding company in the New York City area. Since we are a local business, we have a vested interest in providing the residents and businesses in our community with the best shredding service possible. Jim recognized that there was a need for a better and more convenient document shredding service that provided customers with shredding services when they needed it Monday through Saturday and Time Shred was born. Jim is also a CSDS, Certified Secure Destruction Specialist. This is the highest individual certification for an individual in the document shredding industry. This Author Biography is courtesy of i-Sigma