Perhaps the greatest challenge for every enterprise in this internet connected world is data protection. We’ve seen the devastating direct financial loss data breach brings to every business entity who happens to deal with it; the Bank of Bangladesh, Yahoo! Mail, and the not-so-recent JP Morgan Chase data breach are just a few of the multi-million dollar cyber blunders we can cite as examples over the last few years.
many countries are optimizing their data security laws affecting every entity,
even those who outsource their business processes to accounting firms, legal
firms, and PEOs.
In fact, the European Union was one of the first to implement greater data security measures for its citizens, and it’s known as the GDPR- General Data Protection Regulation.
Despite applying manycountermeasures in information security, it’s no secret that a number of major security threats come from the people within the organization, mostly through careful social engineering employed by Machiavellian cyber hackers.
learned this lesson terribly in May of 2014 when hackers got into the company
network using the credentials of its corporate employees, which after a thorough
investigation had inside access for over half a year! This, of course,
compromised the data of their users, all 145 million of them (could be more).
This is why it is important for everyone in the organization to be aware of the best workplace practices to implement them strongly. And this article will walk you through the pillars of workplace data security practices to get started
Confidentialityand non-disclosure agreements.
every agreement or policy to be realized it has to be reduced to writing. In
addition, you must ensure that all the professionals or administrators who have
access to sensitive information must sign all the confidentiality agreements.
This means that all employees, partners, and vendors must sign confidentiality
and non-disclosure agreements before they begina project.
- Unique ID and login
a standard that companies must have password protected systems to prevent
unauthorized access to confidential information. Moreover, each employee is
expected to have their own unique ID and password to use for logging in.
relation to this, access management protocols must be applied to limit access
to confidential and personal information based on the employee’s role and
function; giving them access only up to the extent necessary for them to carry
out their responsibilities successfully.
- No bringing of
devices inside the workplace.
employees must not be allowed to bring in any electronic devices in their workstations.
In the same way, no one is allowed to bring in or take out paper, pen,
printouts, and other written documents unless otherwise given permission, but
should still be within the limits of training purposes.
random checks must be done regularly by any third party or your own security
personnel to ensure confidentiality policies are religiously observed.
- Data security,
privacy, and confidentiality training.
Aside from establishing a comprehensive information
and security program, providing regular cybersecurity training and awareness
updates will help your team fill in the gap between what’s written on paper and
how data breach happens in real life.
Over the years, a huge percentage of data breaches
was caused by malware and phishing software getting inside the network by
clicking on a link or opening an attachment sent through innocent- looking
emails. These data breaches could have easily been
prevented if only the employees had data security training.
In addition, untrained employees are often prey to
the social engineering cybercriminals do to get access to company networks.
The leadership team and all the executives should
also go through an in-depth formal data security training. This will ensure
that everyone in the organization, including the management, understands the
value of data security.
- Regular auditing of
record management systems.
Payroll and PEO firms like https://www.bradfordjacobs.com/ hold a lot of client and customer data because of the nature of their business. And that’s why PEOs should have a sound record management system where the keeping, discarding or transferring of confidential information will never be used against them in case litigation occurs or a complaint happens.
Your HR and IT Departments should work together to create a synchronized
record management system where all client information will be stored.
Aside from that, identify where all business records may be stored. Text
messages, instant messages, emails, and other communication channels are all
possible sources of inside information.
Finally, do a regular self-audit of your records management system.
Though trusting your employees to be able to do their job with integrity
is part of the social contract, it’s still a must for your company to make
conscious efforts to protect your client/customer’s data from anyone within the
organization who has access to it. Applying these workplace practices will help
your company prevent a data breach and protect confidential information.