10 Ways to Prevent Data Breaches in Your Organization
Ever since the expansion of the internet, managing and storing of data has gotten incredibly easier. We no longer have to go looking for a file in the basement whenever it’s needed. Even though the storage and access of data are now as easy as pressing a button, it has also made things a lot more complicated. The number of data breaches every year is rising as fast as the amount of data itself. Due to the critical nature of the information that companies inherit nowadays, only the worst can be expected if one has a breach. In almost every case of a data breach in a company’s database, there’s reportedly a human error involved in some way. This certainly indicates that mere encryption of company hard drives is not enough to prevent such data breaches.
One has to make sure that their staff is properly trained in preventive measures and understands the importance of company data. Given below are a few tips on how to prevent the breach of data in your company:
1. Intelligent Hiring
Whenever hiring for new employees, conduct thorough background checks to analyze for any threats. Industrial espionage is one of the greatest risks nowadays with hiring new employees. This is due to the cut-throat competition organizations find themselves in.
Also, candidates with deep data security knowledge can be considered invaluable. Make sure they have the basic understanding of the importance of data security and are willing to learn more.
2. Proper Exit Procedures
Both the inflow and outflow of new talent invite some data security risks into the organization. Conducting a proper exit procedure is just as important as the intelligent hiring of new individuals. Make sure to secure all passwords and revoke access to all company accounts and databases. Also, clean all hard drives and computers.
Necessitate a Non-Disclosure agreement wherever necessary to involve legal repercussions in case of unauthorized breach of information.
3. Educate your Staff
This is by far the most important step to be taken. Employees tend to think that they need not worry about data security as the IT guy takes care of that stuff. But data security isn’t a one-man job. The whole organization needs to understand the severity of such breaches and the problems they can cause.
In order to mitigate such risks, regularly schedule training sessions with your staff. Hire a data security professional to teach your staff about the preventive measures. Also, these sessions need to be regular due to the dynamic landscape of data security threats. Not to forget about the high turnover rate that every organization goes through, it’s important that both new and old employees understand the stakes. Teach your employees regularly about all the new scams and potential threats as they arise and keep them up to date with preventive measures.
4. Proper Disposal of Data
Employees can be naive enough to think that simply deleting a file from the recycle bin can be considered a preventive measure. But it just removes the file name from the folder. The disk still contains the file data and can be easily retrieved using a few simple tricks. Teach your employees how to properly dispose sensitive data and all the preventive measures against breaches.
Cleanup regularly, and partner with a document demolition company for secure paper and digital data wipeout services. A Shred-it All Policy should order the staff to firmly demolish all documents that are no longer required.
5. Personal Device Monitoring
Organizations nowadays let their employees bring and use their personal devices at work in order to let them be more habitual of the technology. This saves a lot of time and money spent on training and creates a casual environment in the organization.
But it’s a nightmare for the IT department due to the countless devices on the company network sharing company passwords. Unidentified personal devices can contain viruses, have weak passwords, and unauthorized access to people from outside the organization.
Necessitate the scanning and encryption of every personal device that is allowed on company premises.
6. Limited Access
In order to prevent the Human Error, limit the human access. All the cybercriminals can only steal your private information if they hack into one of the accounts that have access.
Limit the number of users that are granted access to high-risk files. Also, necessitate the permission from the data security professional in your company before granting access to new users. Limit the physical storage of data. It’s easier to focus on cybersecurity of data than to focus on both cybersecurity and physical security of hard copies.
You might want to initiate the limited time access scheme so that the access is revoked automatically when it’s no longer needed.
7. Same Regulations for the Vendors
It might be cheaper to outsource or to hire organizations with no government regulations. But it’s not cheaper than the customer base you will lose due to a data breach. If your vendor makes a mistake, it’s your company’s trust that will be questioned.
8. Keep your employees on the lookout
Employees should be trained to look out for strange behavior online but most importantly for unusual behavior by colleagues. This is also a crucial step to avoid industrial espionage.
Encourage your employees to come forward, if they witness any kind of Data security recklessness from their colleagues. Employees often fear persecution for voicing their concerns, especially if it’s about reporting a colleague. Implement Your Safe Hub in your organization for reporting purposes, a special communication channel that protects such employees with the power of anonymity.
9. Provide a Secure Network
Just implementing security measures on company devices will do no good if your employees keep connecting their mobile phones to every open unsecured network they find. There has been more than a few cases of the data breach of sensitive information through these unsecured open networks.
Ensure the proper encryption of data at source by investing in a company VPN, and educate your employees on the risks of using unidentified open networks.
10. Have a Data Breach Plan in place
If there is even a doubt that there has been a breach of private information from the company database, contact your data protection officer and the authorities immediately.
Even if the breach has already taken place, there’s still a lot you can do soften the blow. Once the breach has occurred, it can take a while to do any real harm, so do whatever you can to prevent any unnecessary customer backlash.