Data security paramount

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 February, 2012, 12:00am


Companies can face serious problems if confidential papers go missing and end up in the public domain due to the unsafe disposal of classified waste.

Howard Yip, executive director of Secure Information Disposal Services (SSID), says the company has had two incidents when clients accidentally threw papers that were still needed into disposal bags and they were taken away for shredding and recycling.

Another problem is caused when a disposal company provides unmarked bags, and confidential papers become mixed up with those containing ordinary recycling paper. Full bags can disappear from the street if collectors leave them unattended while collecting others.

SSID offers a complete solution to all these problems using well-trained, security-vetted staff and individual radio-frequency identification devices (RFID) to trace each bag.

The gold winner of last year's Hong Kong RFID Awards, SSID developed its own 'ID2 Tracer' system to make the process of confidential document disposal transparent and increase the security level, while making the entire process traceable.

The company provides differentiated bags equipped with an RFID tag, and ensures that the van has three accompanying members and is locked when left standing alone. Unmarked trucks collect the bags, their route is monitored with a GPS system and the processing facility is equipped with CCTV.

'We can trace the bags from the collection point all the way to the workshop. When the bag arrives we send an e-mail to the client. If there are any problems we can trace where the problem happened, and find out what went wrong,' Yip says.

'In the rare case of information leakage, it is easy to identify when and what got lost, and the company can minimise the problem by immediately undertaking damage control.'

The company shreds the material within 24 hours and immediately feeds it into the flotsam-packing mechanism to prevent any loss or theft.

GS1 Hong Kong, a global supply chain standards organisation, is well connected with companies deploying RFID technologies to enhance their businesses. Having paid a visit to SSID's processing plant, the organisation decided to use its services in order to promote SSID's best practice solution.

'The visibility to the waste paper management process gave us confidence to believe that our confidential documents are properly handled and disposed of, which also enhances our customers' trust in our practices to ensure data privacy and confidentiality,' says Heidi Ho, manager of industry engagement of GS1 Hong Kong.

SSID also provides consultancy services on document security management and helps companies that need an annual audit to maintain their ISO standards to fulfil requirements for documentation.