In this data science blog, we are going to talk about a handful of simple measures that you should employ to keep your company’s data secure. Data security is a chief concern for companies of all sizes at all stages of the business cycle. The value of data is more pronounced today and businesses are going all out to invest in improved data security.
It is indeed essential for companies to take all measures possible to secure their data and avoid the heavy losses that could emerge from a data security breach. Here are some simple measures – some that cost you nothing and some that cost barely anything – that you should implement immediately.
Plug that paper trail
While we are all incredibly concerned with firewall protection and apps that are spying on us, businesses today fail to consider physical documents as a potential hole in their security. Have an SOP in place for sensitive paper documents. Once they have been utilized, ensure that they are shredded immediately. Leaving them around the office could expose them to prying eyes. Even if your office has tight security, you do have some visitors like people who come in for scheduled meetings and also technicians who might enter your office for repairs or maintenance.
Pay heed to passwords
If IT sets up everyone’s default passwords, and nobody changes their passwords; if everyone knows everyone else’s passwords and hijacking a colleague’s computer is child’s play, there is a serious lack of accountability in the workplace. Getting into one team member’s computer and making their way from there, is all a set of prying hands/ eyes needs.
Take password protection seriously. Passwords should not be pasted on the edges of desktops either. Be strict about password protection, train and remind employees of the importance of keeping company data secure. Ensure that your team understands the value of data and circulate data science blogs to engage them in the seriousness of the issue.
Make sure that all sensitive data that needs to be emailed is sent only via encrypted emails. This means that only the sender with the requisite encryption key can send the data and only a recipient with the designated encryption key can receive the data. Encryption offers you amazing protection at a nominal cost and just a little more effort than you would have normally put in.
Common sense measures
When you are posting or couriering sensitive documents be sure to use manila envelopes, double envelopes or any sort of opaque packaging. Hold your courier package up to the light to ensure that prying eyes cannot see through it. Secure the package not just with staple pins that can be undone and replaced easily but with a few rounds of masking tape.
Also consider how documents sent to the printer in the office can be accessed. A printer can be a very easy route to accessing sensitive data. Restrict access and ensure that documents and data are permanently erased from the printer’s memory immediately or at least regularly.
If data is backed up to prn drives and hard discs, ensure that these are maintained under lock and key.
Spreadsheets are very susceptible to prying eyes within the office that understand the value of data and to hackers. On premise data security can only achieve so much. Secure your financial data by using cloud accounting software. There is password protection as a primary layer of protection and firewall protection as the ultimate safeguard. Some brands like Dext, secure your data with double firewalls.
To conclude, data security is an ongoing practice. There’s no do-this-and-forget-it mechanism. Moreover, it is everyone’s responsibility.