BSIA highlights importance of standards in protecting data

With the average data breach costing UK firms around £1.9m annually*, and the new European data privacy framework asking for greater commitment from businesses on the way they handle data security, the British Security Industry Association's (BSIA) Information Destruction section is urging end users to understand how compliance with relevant industry standards can actively guarantee an improved level of protection against data breaches.
“With the wide range of products and services available within the Information Destruction industry, establishing whether a security provider complies to the relevant National and European standards should be an important part of the procurement process for companies of all sizes, to ensure the quality and reliability of the suppliers selected.” says Anthony Pearlgood, Chairman of the BSIA’s Information Destruction section. “Unfortunately, however, this is not always the case, as standards can be technical in nature, and end-users may sometimes fail to fully understand their scope and importance.”
To overcome this issue and further highlight the benefits of these documents, the BSIA section that deals with the destruction of confidential waste and material has just launched a one-page informational leaflet targeted at end users who are considering procuring information destruction services. This easy-to-understand, handy document provides the key points of consideration of EN15713:2009, the European standard for the sector. The standard provides organisations with recommendations for the management and control of collection, transportation, destruction of confidential material and recycling to ensure such material is disposed of securely and safely.
“The BSIA’s Information Destruction section played an active part in the development of the EN15713 standard, to provide real specifications on how the processes should be handled within our industry. The sensitive nature of the documents and materials we deal with in fact require tight procedures in order to ensure maximum security for your information. This is why understanding the implications of the standards is important in order to make informed procurement decisions.”
Research carried out last year by the BSIA revealed that only 50% of facilities managers who have taken the step to outsource data disposal knew whether their provider actually complied with the European Standard EN15713. Anthony said: “This is concerning, as we believe that this should be one of the first questions asked of any secure waste disposal business by a prospective customer.”
To download a copy of the EN15713 document produced by the BSIA’s Information Destruction section, visit the BSIA’s publications page  and search for form 141.
Members of the BSIA’s Information Destruction section not only comply to the standard and incorporate it in their quality processes, but also all share a real commitment towards professionalism and transparency in the service they provide by complying to their own Code of Practice, and meeting the Association’s strict criteria.
One of the section’s objectives since its inception 11 years ago has been to educate customers and users of information destruction services, in order to allow them to procure trusted and professional information destruction measures. 
The section is also keen on sharing best practice amongst fellow industry professionals, and has established an annual Information Destruction Conference and Exhibition for members and non BSIA members that aims at doing just that. 2012’s edition of this exclusive event will take place on the 30th of May at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. For information and bookings, visit
* Findings from research by security firm Symantec