Relocating to a new office can make your business particularly vulnerable to things like identity and intellectual property theft if you aren't careful. You may be very careful about your documents during normal business activities, but moving office can change your level of care. Unfortunately, a single breach can tarnish your company's reputation or even affect the stock price. In fact, research has shown that companies can lose as much as 3% of their market value after a data breach. Here are two ways to keep your information safe during the transition so that you can start off on the right foot:
Moving can be an exhaustive chore, especially for businesses who might be faced with transporting hundreds of boxes worth of documents and file folders. However, following these guidelines for moving paper documents might help your company to avoid information leaks:
- Work With A Professional Packing Service: Before you ask your employees to transport sensitive documents, you might need to offer them additional training. Also, your employees might not be as fast or as efficient as professional movers. Instead of relying on your employees to move vital file folders, hire a professional packing services company. In addition to packing your documents in an organized, professional way, packing services can also index and seal confidential containers—so that you can account for their whereabouts and determine who has had access to the files inside.
- Hire A Mobile Shredding Service: Before your moving day, consider hiring a mobile shredding service to help you to dispose of old tax documents, employee personnel files, or customer account information. Otherwise, those boxes of old paperwork might get stashed in the backroom of your new place, where they could be forgotten and compromised.
- Limit Printing: Confidential paperwork can be hard to contain if more of it is constantly being produced. In the weeks leading up to your relocation, try to limit printing by setting new guidelines or removing extra printers altogether.
If you have highly valuable paperwork, such as land deeds, company car titles, or stock certificates, consider having your financial institution relocate or store those documents for you. Misplacing a single box of valuable paperwork might set your company back before you have the chance to create a profitable business in your new city.
Unfortunately, paper documents aren't the only materials that could lead to an information leak. If you aren't careful with your electronics, you might end up with a bigger problem on your hands, since large amounts of information can be swiped by copying a few computer files. Here are a couple of ways to protect your company electronics during your move:
- Computers: Instead of letting your employees pack up their own workstations, ask your IT department or packing services company to do the job. That way, the equipment will be taken down and set up correctly the first time, and the number of people who have access to the systems will be easy to track. You can also ask your packing services company to package computers in tamper-proof boxes, which would make them harder to access on the road.
- Copiers: That copier might seem innocent, but inside, it contains images of every paper you have ever scanned, faxed, or copied. To prevent potential data breaches, ask your IT department to clear copier caches before the device is transported. If you really want to protect your company, you can even install encryption software that automatically scrambles images as the copier runs.
By taking a few preventive measures, you might be able to protect your company. For other ideas on how to protect valuable documents or electrical equipment, consult with your packing services company.