It seems as if every morning we wake up to news of a new confidentiality breach. And every company lives in fear that one day, it will be them.
Every business has sensitive data, but some industries are particularly high-stakes. Healthcare companies, for instance, need to know how to be HIPAA-compliant. If they don’t, they face legal penalties along with a PR nightmare.
While it seems terrifying (especially if you don’t understand data security), there’s hope.
There are many steps a business can take toward making their information more secure. If you’re getting started, these tips below are a perfect first step.
Tip #1: Prohibit the Use of Personal Emails
To an employee, it may seem harmless to send a client an email from their personal email address. But this can open quite the can of worms.
First, when an employee uses their personal email, they have that information forever. If they leave your business, you can remove their access to their company email.
But you can’t do the same for their personal email address. You can’t even know what information the employee may have in their emails.
Second, you cannot control the encryption their emails are using. Strong encryption is crucial for keeping data safe, but most personal emails are less than airtight.
Tip #2: Use the Cloud, but Use it Wisely
“The cloud” isn’t a dirty word when it comes to business record security. In fact, it makes it easy to keep ex-employees out by changing the log-in information. Make sure you’re using precautions, though.
Before you choose a cloud provider, research the security the company offers. If possible, talk to other business about their cloud providers and why they chose them.
Tip #3: Use Caution When Allowing the Use of Personal Devices
Many businesses offer employees the convenience of using their own devices like laptops. But what happens when an employee leaves? This can be a major vulnerability in your confidentiality breach prevention.
If you do choose this route, consider installing wiping software on the devices. If/when the employee leaves, you can target and remove information about the business. You can even do this remotely
Tip #4: Have a Security Checklist in Place for Employee Exits
A 2014 study found 89% of knowledge workers had access to an ex-employee’s sensitive information.
With all a modern office’s technology, it’s easy to forget an ex-employee’s access to one or two sources. To prevent this, take the time to create a comprehensive checklist. Make sure to follow the list to a tee every time an employee leaves.
Tip #5: Bring in the Confidentiality Breach Prevention Professionals
If you’re dealing with more information than your company can handle, call the experts.
If you’re concerned about your digital data, a cybersecurity consultant can help. If it’s physical documents, a records management company can keep them secure.
Whichever type of professional you need, be sure to research their own security.
Take Nothing for Granted
Business can’t keep up with all the ways their data can be compromised with today’s technology. But the bottom line is to never assume something is unbreachable.
Do a security audit to find out what holes you may need to fix and how you can improve. If you have questions about data security methods, like document shredding, record storage, or hard drive destruction, call Federal Records Management & Shredding. We’ll be happy to give you some peace of mind.