Celebrating Spaces

Part 2

As the weather slowly gets cheerier outside, we think it’s a great time of year to make your workplace cheerier inside! Here at Office Needs, we believe that a well-designed work space is one of the best productivity boosters out there. So welcome to Part Two of the monthly theme for May – Celebrating Spaces!

Now that May is here, we’re sure you’re being bombarded with information, tips and thoughts on GDPR – but how many of these articles are focusing heavily on the digital side of the new legislation? While it’s undeniably important to keep your virtual space secure, it’s vital not to forget about the physical components that will get your workplace GDPR compliant in time for May 25th. 

Here’s our top three tips for getting your workplace ready in time…

1. It’s not just what is in your building, but who is in your building…

A lot of the advice around GDPR centres on where your data is being kept, but it’s also important to bear in mind the fundamentals of good general security – including how visitors move around your building.

Every business needs visitors from time to time, whether it’s due to maintenance requirements or needing to meet clients, customers or suppliers onsite. However, these additional people in a building represent one of your biggest physical security risks.

Chances are that you already have a visitors’ policy in place, if only for health and safety concerns, but it’s important to read back over this to check you’re properly looking after all your sensitive data when someone else is in your workplace.

For example, making sure that all visitors have clear identification badges makes it easier for employees to challenge a lone visitor who’s waiting in the wrong part of your building, and integrating your visitor policy into your training schemes means that any colleague will feel confident knowing what to do if they need to step in and chaperone a visitor.

TIP: It’s also worth checking whether your visitors book is GDPR compliant… after all, you can’t display someone’s personal data to the next visitor who needs to fill it in! Click on the link to our Security Sale below, where you can find some great options that come with built in security sheets!

We also think the following tip is a great way to ensure nothing is accidentally seen by the wrong eyes…

Need to buy lockable storage at a great price?

2. Try a clear desk policy (and a clear virtual desktop policy too!)

While paper-free offices are still a target for many businesses, every now and again something simply needs to be a hard copy. The problem that often arises from this is that paperwork stacks up quickly – and paperwork in the wrong place is one of the best ways to end up with a data breach.

Why not try a policy of always keeping your desk clear when you’re not working there? That way you can ensure no prying eyes come wandering past without your knowledge. This idea also extends as far as your computer desktop – while privacy filters (as in the picture below) are a great way to ensure anyone not directly in front of your machine can see the data onscreen, it’s also a good idea to lock your desktop with a password while you’re absent.

A successful clear desk policy does also depend on secure storage options being available. While some buildings benefit from entire rooms of lockable storage, chances are your workplace can do a lot with just a few key pieces.

For example – why not add lockable pedestals that can go either underneath or directly next to your desks? Desk high pedestals add some crucial extra surface space, but under desk size is great for offices with less square feet of room. These can give a good amount of individual storage space, and be complemented by much larger lockable cupboards that teams can use for record keeping or sensitive in/out trays.

Speaking of in/out trays, don’t forget to customise your lockable cupboard storage by dividing it up in the most efficient way for your team – that way you can maximise the amount of storage you get for your money and space! You can get everything from trays and shelf dividers to whole lateral filing shelves, so that you can create the perfect use of every inch. Our team are always happy to help if you want to find out more about what products are available.

3. Safe destruction is just as important as safe storage

One of the big changes coming in GDPR is the need to have properly defined retention periods for all your data – you can’t just keep everything forever!

However, you can’t have a successful retention policy without a secure destruction policy at the end of it. After all, keeping papers in a locked drawer won’t do them any good if they’re thrown out into general rubbish at the end of their retention period.

Many offices already use shredding as part of their data destruction process, but it’s worth double checking with your GDPR lead whether your current shredding practices are definitely in line with the new legislation. For example, they might like you to look into cross-cut shredders (where the paper is cut horizontally as well as vertically, for a more secure result) or even micro-cut shredders (like cross-cut, but smaller!).

While it’s true that cross- and micro- cut shredders do take a little longer (they have to cut the paper in more than one direction, after all!), don’t despair if your current shredding pile is looking a little intimidating. Auto-feed shredders can be a good solution for some offices (so you can load the bin and walk away), or there’s always the final option of choosing a secure shredding service that can take all your sensitive documents off-site for certificated destruction.

P. S.  Remember that digital data has a physical footprint too…

As we mentioned earlier, a lot of advice has centred around keeping your digital data safe in the run-up to May 25th. However, even if your firewalls and password policies are now updated and running beautifully, if you fail to provide physical ways to move and store digital data safely, you’ll still run in to problems.

One of our favourite ways to keep your data safe but portable is using encrypted drives – these handy accessories keep your data encrypted and password-protected, and can come with a variety of options such as prompting for password entry after a period of inactivity.

By introducing these into your office, you can have a quick and easy way to move files around and take them with you off-site, and they should fit nicely into many companies’ new security policies.

That’s all from me this week – hope these tips help you to finish off your GDPR preparations! Remember you can always ask us if you’re looking for a particular security product to help keep your physical data safe and secure.

Join us next week for Part 3 of ‘Celebrating Spaces’!

If you’ve got thoughts on what you’d like us to cover next, why not get in touch with us on social media? We’d love to hear from you!

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