At a cybersecurity forum held recently in New York, one of the major topics of discussion was the increasing number of issues related to data privacy and protection. As companies are now finding data as their most valuable asset, which could be now easily left through a pen drive in an employee’s pocket or could be shared through any social media sites. Addressing comes under the matter of trade property laws and considered to be a white-collar crime. In this article, we are trying to discuss some protective ways through which organizations can try to protect their data and ensure adequate security measures to immediately respond and prevent any intentional or unintentional leakage of confidential info.
1. Implementing data security and internal privacy principles
By clearly drawing out how the organization collects, stores use and discloses data, the employees and other concerned with data can have a fair understanding about how to deal with confidential data, the protocol to be followed while using it, and procedures through which data is shared, etc. There should also be a policy to effectively destroy the data which is no longer needed for the organization.
2. User access and internet usage policies
Many organizations implemented internet usage policies during the last decade as to how employees may access the internet through the company network. However, such policies are not far outdated with the development of new technologies as the internet is not just available on the PCs on the network, but there are various modes of accessing it. So, there should be updated policies in terms of how to handle confidential company data like peer-to-peer communications, usage of mobile applications, etc.
3. Social media usage policies
Social media is so popular now, and people tend to access their social media accounts through their personal gadgets as well as through workplace network or Wi-Fi, etc. So, the companies also should think of effective data management policies to govern the ways as to how the employees should access their social media account even for work purposes. Certain guidelines should be mandated on the usage of social media accounts. Such practices in place with remind the employees to be cautious while using social media and thereby accidentally disclosing confidential company information or customer data. However, the employers also need to make sure that such policies are compliant to the labor laws also without restricting the freedom of the employees.
Service provider and partner agreements for effective data handling
4. Policies related to BYOD – Bring Your Own Devices
The modern-day organizations are allowing employers to bring their own devices to work, especially in the information technology-related speciality jobs. The employees are allowed to work on their personal computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. through which they can access their work accounts and emails, etc. For the marketing professionals and other on-site professionals, it is much easier to access their work desk through their own devices which make their job much easier and quicker. However, while following BYOD practices, organizations need to be very careful about the policies and practices related to it in order to ensure data security.
More business data security measures to consider
Along with the above, there are many common practices also in terms of data security which individual businesses, based on the nature of their operations, can practice. Further, we will discuss such measures. By ensuring these basic steps and policy-based online practices, organizations can effectively present any data leakage.
Establish very strong passwords
Introducing strong-password based data access is the easiest, but the most effective thing to do for data security. Implementing strong passwords is the easiest thing you can do to strengthen your security. The administrators should try to craft the hard-to-crack type of passwords, which are usually a combination of upper/lower case alphabets, numbers, and symbols. The ideal length of the password is about 8 to 12 characters. You should avoid the usage of any personal details, common words, the sequence of numbers or alphabets, etc.
Good firewall protection will help you to control your network on internet traffic flowing in and out of your office. The usage of firewalls and the practices followed for it are almost the same across the board.
Usage of antivirus
Anti-malware and antivirus software is also important in the corporate arsenal if you want to ensure online security and data protection. Antivirus software is the last line of defense which should help protect any unwanted attacks into your corporate network. However, it is not just usage of antivirus, but you should also update these programs regularly to keep them functional. Also, make sure that your systems are always patched and updated. Remember that no application comes 100% perfect, so it is important to keep your tools sharpened and focused on the latest updates.
Securing the laptops
Employees now largely use their laptops to work on their professional assignments. With their portability, laptops are very comfortable and user-friendly too. However, with their portable nature, you are a risk of using laptops in terms of data security when compared to the use of desktops. So, to ensure data security, you need to take some additional steps to ensure the protection of your most sensitive data.
It is noted that remote wiping is a very effective solution in terms of data security. As it is possible or the employees to misplace their mobile work devices like smartphones or laptops, remote wiping ensures data protection in case of any theft or loss of such devices. Using the remote wiping tools, it is possible or the IT administrators to remotely access the machines to delete all crucial data saved into it.
Data security measures and practices are changing daily. So, the users need to administer the most advanced practices and use the latest tools to optimize data security.