A FIRM which attended a major cyber crime event in Rotherham has warned firms to be careful with their confidential waste.
It said that companies that are careless with their data risk becoming victims of the scammers.
As reported recently in the Advertiser, the event at Rotherham’s New York Stadium highlighted the dangers facing businesses — and other web users — from cyber criminals.
Now, the boss of Russell Richardson — a South Yorkshire firm specialising in confidential shredding, archiving and recycling — has stepped up to warn companies to be on their guard.
The Attercliffe-based company, which had representatives at the Rotherham event, said firms also have a legal obligation to look after data which could cost them dearly if there is a security breach.
New rules coming in next year will mean that firms can be fined five per cent of their net turnover for data security lapses.
Managing director Jonathan Richardson said: “Most large organisations have secure storage methods and strict policies for the disposal of their confidential waste.
“But many SMEs (small to medium-sized companies) have been unaware of the risks they take on a regular basis when disposing of anything from paperwork bearing company and client information to computer hard drives and company mobile phones.
“These items cannot simply be thrown into a dustbin. Even burning waste is not failsafe. Companies are being hacked or exposing their customers to the risk of fraud as a result.”
At the recent event, firms were warned that the new penalties would be so high that they potentially bring companies to their knees as fines could go into the millions of pounds, much higher than at present.
Mr Richardson said: “In addition, data protection regulation in 2018 will mean businesses have a legal obligation to prove they have disposed of waste correctly and face harsh penalties for non-compliance.”