How to Secure Data in the Workplace

Written by: Kevin Gardner

If you work in a modern office, chances are every employee has their own computer set up and running, and full of data that is vital to the company's success. Most offices, however, neglect to put security measures in place to keep that data safe, and suffer security breaches and data theft as a result. Here are some tips for ensuring your office is safe from similar breeches.

1. Tracking Software

Spyware through sim cards is a great tool for keeping data safe from outside attacks. Using this software, you can easily see what actions led to breaches of data, and can train employees how to avoid similar situations. Having proof of what happened is also important, particularly if an employee breaches the security policy to open their device to outside attacks.

A security policy is an important thing to have in place, as well, as it clearly outlines what actions are acceptable for employees to take. Have yearly training on the security policy to ensure that all employees understand the verbiage and what each approved action entails. An employee who breaches the policy may be in fault, but if they don't understand what it contains in the first place, it's hard to put the blame on them for their mistake.

2. Antivirus Updates

Keeping your antiviral software up to date is vital for keeping your valuable data safe. A virus downloaded during the course of a normal workday can wreak havoc on devices and cause massive security breaches. The antiviral needs of your company will vary depending on the amount and type of data you're storying, but in general make sure employees understand their software and know how to do updates on their own. It's also important that employees are trained regularly on identifying phishing attempts, so they know not to open suspicious emails or other possible methods of attack.

3. Unnecessary Data

A lot of the extremely sensitive data from customers is saved by companies long after they need it. This is an enormous mistake, as the data not only occupies valuable space, but is easier to steal when there's too much of it to keep track of and safely guard. Rather than asking yourself if you need this data, ask if you'll be able to get it back later if it becomes relevant again. If the answer is yes, delete the data. If the answer is no, try another format of storing information without keeping the data on your devices, or make the information anonymous to prevent identity theft.

4. Purposed Servers

One effective way of preventing the accidental spread of important data is to have a purposed server specifically for that data. Have a restricted number of employees who can access this data, and have a single password that gets updated regularly. Add a password for downloading the data, and you've got a pretty layered security detail for your information. Avoid storing data on a portable drive, as this can lead to losing the data or putting it in the wrong hands.

5. Single Sign On

Your business might use single sign-on for customer interactions, as it's a popular choice for reducing customer fatigue around passwords and usernames. It's a convenient and extremely effective tool, and can reduce IT costs significantly. However, SSO also comes with some risks, and it's good to be aware of them if this has been your method of sign on.

For one thing, SSO means data is spread farther across devices and browsers, making it harder for your organization to track and protect the data. It can also become difficult to determine the legality of the use of the data. If this is an issue you've come up against, or you think it might become a problem in the future, consider switching away from SSO for a trial period.

Use these tips to keep your valuable information safe, and make your workplace a secure environment for everyone.

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