A Publication of WTVP

The company’s previous name, Confidential Security, may be more familiar to central Illinois residents, but the company’s new moniker helps convey its dedication to what it does best: protecting clients and their interests.

Don Eckhoff founded Confidential Security Corporation (CSC) in 1984 after becoming aware of the information destruction industry while he lived and worked in the Carolinas, according to AAA Certified Confidential Security Corp. President Tom Simpson. “Operating out of a rented warehouse and driving one truck, Eckhoff serviced his customers and made sales calls. CSC primarily serviced manufacturing and financial businesses. I bought Confidential Security Corp. in 1993. By 1996, the company built a secure facility, increased its fleet to three trucks, and twice upgraded the shredding equipment.”

Simpson said the company originally was established as a shredding operation in response to competitive business environments and governmental privacy requirements. “The Social Security Act of 1934 and the Privacy Act of 1974 were in place at that time, but the shredding industry was concentrated on the east and west coasts and larger metropolitan areas. Shortly after purchasing CSC, I affiliated CSC with a national association for the shredding industry, the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID). As a charter member, CSC was in a position to benefit from the ethics and educational opportunities the association provided,” he said.

Though simply a shredding service in the early years of operation, Simpson said CSC evolved to achieve credentials, which include NAID AAA Certification and ISO registration. “Those credentials define our business structure and customer practices. Looking at regulatory and business requirements, it became apparent that CSC needed to focus on security to be a security professional that provides shredding and information destruction services as a means to protect proprietary and confidential information. As a security professional, all aspects of the operation are performed according to procedure and standard.”

Currently, AAA Certified Confidential Security Corp. offers some of the same original services, plus many more. “We destroy confidential and proprietary information, regardless of the medium that holds the information: paper and non-paper materials such as film, microfiche, carbon paper, video and cassette tapes, computer CDs and floppy disks, and hard drives. CSC’s emphasis is on customer service that’s secure, cost effective, and flexible according to the needs of the customer,” he said.

Like many successful companies, Simpson said much of his firm’s growth has been word-of-mouth referrals. “Also, as area businesses became better educated and the federal government passed laws to protect citizens from the improper disposal of private information, shredding operations as a whole benefited from HIPAA, FACTA, Graham Leach Bliley, and Sarbanes Oxley. Even with the expansion of industry-wide competition, CSC still benefits from word-of-mouth advertising.”

He said AAA Certified Confidential Security Corp. has always been a groundbreaking company. “It was the first shredding company in the U.S. to become certified by the National Association for Information (NAID), which is now a worldwide association. Additionally, CSC was the first—and is still the only—stand-alone shredding company to achieve and hold ISO 9001/2000 registration. These designations set us apart from our competition and demonstrate our commitment to the highest security.”

Simpson said the business and its customers have gone through many changes over the years. “Industry-wide trends are influenced by public awareness, as well as federal and state laws. Current trends show information protection at the forefront of many business practices. Identity theft and privacy issues affect every business. CSC sets up standards of operation that more than meet the needs of our customers. Where simple shredding once defined due diligence, standards for security have escalated with technology. The standards of NAID AAA Certification and ISO define our business structure and customer practices—faster, larger equipment with smaller shred particle size, for example. Security also includes electronic monitoring and vehicle security. When it comes to change, CSC tries to be proactive rather than reactive.”

He said any misperceptions the community may have about the company may be industry-related. “Especially about the value of obsolete information and the potential for risk that information carries when in the wrong hands. Even though federally mandated safeguards have been enacted, we still see how some businesses put themselves at risk as a result of their information management policies. Also, some businesses would rather do the shredding themselves, rather than pay to have the service done for them. There are numerous factors that make a professional more reliable, economic, and definitely secure.”

In the near future, Simpson said identity theft and privacy issues will continue to be the biggest factors in how and why AAA Certified Confidential Security Corp. implements changes. “Midwestern businesses, regardless of size, are more aware of the need to protect proprietary and confidential information, as well as identifying what needs to be protected. In fact, information protection is in the scope of many business practices. Intellectual material is found in media other than paper. The industry will continue to find destruction processes that evolve with technology. If you think about various information-bearing sources, you might get an idea of how we’ll meet the challenge of information destruction.” IBI