Today, virtually all data regarding employees, customers, and other such sensitive information is becoming digitally stored by companies. And while much of their security focus is on stopping hackers, the biggest security risk they actually face comes from the inside – current and even former employees. A security breach can reveal secrets and proprietary information that can damage your business, finances, and even client reputation.
The frequency of information theft, loss, or accidental release of private information is on the rise. The best way to combat this is to be proactive to protect that data vulnerability. Here are some important steps to take in how to avoid security breaches:
Keep all physical data and records that contain private information locked in a secure location with restricted access. Never give temps or vendors access and, if necessary, conduct a background check on employees. With digital data, keep security patches up to date, use firewalls, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software that is updated frequently.
Implement password protection and re-login functions after a time-out. Restrict telecommuting to company-owned computers that require the use of strong passwords that must be changed regularly. Do not store personal information on a computer that is connected to the Internet unless it is absolutely essential.
Reduce the volume of information you collect and retain to only what is necessary and keep an inventory of it. Then minimize the number of places you store that personal data; know what you keep and where it’s kept. This also means never using social security numbers as employee or client IDs.
Before you decide to rid of anything, destroy it. Hard drives, CDs, DVDs or any other type of data and media storage. Don’t just delete files or reformat your hard drive – instead, use our flawless method designed to permanently wipe magnetic data and irreversibly destroy an electronic device.
CDs, DVDs, flash drives, smartphones, MP3 players, and other personal electronic devices that allow the hard drive to sync to a computer are most susceptible to a loss or theft. Use only encrypted data when downloading to portable storage devices. Don’t just keep or dispose of a device with outdated information. Note, we recycle anything with a cord as well as any old, obsolete devices.
Mandate that all data transmissions be encrypted, both at rest and in motion. Keep all emails encrypted too, and never let employees use personal emails for business, especially if personal information is transmitted. Even Wi-Fi networks can permit data interception.
Communicate to all employees the importance of privacy and data security, you might even want to establish a written policy for it. Train them to never leave laptops or PDA’s unattended, require them to put away files, log off their computers, and lock their filing cabinets and offices at the end of the day. Keep your employees educated about what is sensitive and confidential and that they are responsible to protect it.
Corporate Destruction Solutions is proud to provide the nation with the most secure, on-site hard drive and media destruction service available. If you would like more information on protecting yourself or your business from a data security breach, contact us today.