5 Steps to Protect Your Providence Business
A recent report authored by Dr. Doug Jacobson, director of the Iowa State University’s Information Assurance Program, finds that the biggest risk of data breaches or theft comes from careless employees or consultants who don’t properly secure the data they are entrusted with. The report audited 126 companies who suffered a data loss and found that more than 54 percent of lost data was the result of employee error, with only 34 percent being due to outside hackers.
Employers are rapidly realizing that the human error of employees puts people in danger. Employees also don’t face the same security hurdles that outside identity thefts face, making it much easier to accidentally leak or intentionally steal sensitive information.
Here are a few thoughts on what you can do to protect your business and your employees:
Lock Up and Secure
It is amazing how many employee files are open to any employee just clicking through the company network on their lunch break. Human resources departments should have security procedures for storing private employee information. Lock up all employee files—both active and terminated—in a secure area. More importantly, make sure that only authorized personnel have access to the key. Sensitive employee data should not be stored on mobile storage devices, including laptop computers and USB thumb drives.
Usually, the weakest link in the security chain is the person trying to be helpful to someone on the phone. Unless an officer of the court provides your company with a subpoena, you should have a strict policy to never release employee information to any individual or organization except to the employee him/herself. This rule should also apply to all consultants. Furthermore, a well-organized document retention plan helps to protect your sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.
Some sensitive information does not need to be provided on every document. For example, for tax purposes, it is impossible to avoid using social security numbers, but they don’t need to be printed on every document. Mask the first five digits of the social security number on pay stubs and other documentation not submitted to the IRS. This is more important for documents sent through the mail. Use sensitive information as sparingly as possible.
Use Clean Desk Policies
Implementing a clean desk rule at your company is an easy way to increase your company’s information security from unauthorized eyes. Clean desk policies would require every employee who deals with sensitive information to clear their desk whenever they leave their office. Sensitive information should either be filed and locked or placed in a locked shredding bin.
Shred Information Before Tossing It
Paperwork containing sensitive information should always be shredding. The simplest way for information thieves to steal your sensitive information is to go through your trash, so destroying your documents before you throw them out is paramount. A shredding service makes secure disposal easy and efficient, protecting you and your employees from the hazards of information theft. Best of all a shredding service is cheaper than paying your employees to do the job with an office shredder.
Don’t Put Your Business at Risk—Ensure Your Protection by Shredding Records Today!
The repercussions of carelessly handling files can be very severe. Not only does it damage you and your business’ reputation and expose you to lawsuits and fines, but it also damages an individual’s quality of life. Don’t implement business practices that cause harm to others in the form of identity theft or worse.
Providence Shredding Services can help you protect your business today with a regular shredding service option. With mobile shredding, off-site shredding, or hard drive shredding service, you can ensure your business’ security. Simply fill out the form to the left or call us at (401) 519-6693 today!