Published 15th of September 2021

Since the start of GDPR we have seen many breaches and failures in destroying personal data due to human error. With so many well-known organisations being fined for the loss of sensitive data, it’s understandable that any reasonable business wants to protect themselves from a breach. Cross-cut shredding is the best way to ensure that all physical data is appropriately destroyed to safeguard your customers personal information. Simply throwing away or manually ripping up paper documents is not enough to protect valuable data and meet compliance standards.

What is a cross-cut shredder?

A cross-cut shredder is used to cut paper into much smaller pieces than a traditional strip-cut shredder. In a cross-cutter, two sets of serrated blades are fitted in opposite directions to each other. The two arrays of blades move simultaneously when cutting up paper, which produces confetti-like pieces of shredded paper that cannot be reconstructed after the destruction process.

Why should cross-cut shredding be used?

Although GDPR does not specify which level of shredding security is required to be compliant we suggest it is better to be safe than sorry. Not using the correct office shredder can pose a potential risk for a data breach. Many of the smaller types of shredders that are found in most offices shred documents into vertical strips. The pieces of these documents can be easily pieced back together, either manually or with computer software programmes, leaving businesses unwittingly exposed to a potential data breach.

Cross-cut shredding is the most effective shredding technique as it is impossible to reconstruct documents because the shredder reduces confidential materials to fine pieces of confetti. You may already have a cross-cut shredder in your office which is great but there are still several security issues you could potentially contend with. Your employees’ top priority isn’t shredding paper, which means it usually gets forgotten about and left to pile up on people’s desks, next to the shredder or thrown in the recycling bin.

If you’re shredding your own documents in-house make sure:

1.Your shredder is a cross-cut shredder.

  • Employees understand the importance of shredding personal data and the process they need to take to shred documents.
  • It’s clear what documents should be shredded – implementing an information security policy is important.

4.You audit employees' work areas to ensure documents are actually getting shredded. Check your recycling bins to make sure that your employees are placing the correct documents in the recycling.

What are the risks to using your own cross-cut shredder?

You are taking the right step in choosing to purchase a cross-cut shredder over a more traditional shredder. However, having a cross-cut shredder in the office can still cause serious security risks for your business. The biggest concern is human error as you must rely on your employees to shred documents straight away once they’re no longer needed. There is usually a delay between documents needing to be shredded and them actually being shredded. It’s a lot easier for employees to pop paper into a secure shredding console than having to physically destroy each paper document themselves. This reduces the risk of human error and having to rely on your employees to take care of confidential documents.

How we can help

If you feel like you don’t have the time to shred your documents yourself, we can be trusted to securely destroy your documents on-site or off-site. Shredall SDS Group machines meet EN15713 security level 3, producing cross-cut strips of 16mm suitable for the most sensitive or confidential information. In ultra-high security mode, the machines meet the requirements of EN15713 security level 6, suitable for confidential and top-secret data that, if disclosed, could have severe consequences. The cross-cut action reduces paper of 2mm stripes or pieces with a maximum surface area of 320mm². After the paper is shredded, it is compacted under massive pressure into solid bales ready for transportation to a recycler. Our security vetted staff are there to handle the destruction from start to finish and provide a certificate of destruction once the job is complete.