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.
Consequently, 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.
eBay 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.
For 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 system.
It’s 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.
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.
All 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.
Moreover, 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.