If personal employee data or company records fall into the wrong hands, the affects can be far-reaching.
Whether a company maintains a prevalent online presence or is simply storing information digitally, understanding the need to keep data secure and taking steps to do so is a must.
Data security is a phrase that relates to ensuring that unauthorized individuals do not gain access to sensitive information that could be used maliciously. Examples of data related to businesses that should be kept secure include: stored credit card information, personal information of employees or plans for future marketing campaigns.
Importance of Data Security for Businesses
Data may be compromised by identity thieves or competitors who use unsavory business practices. When security is not made a priority, businesses often find themselves struggling to survive.
A failure to keep customer information safe can result in the theft of personal information including names, addresses and credit card information. Depending on the nature of the business, thieves may even get their hands on social security numbers. If a business does not keep the personal information of their customers safe, they may have trouble retaining and gaining customers due to a lack of confidence.
Information about the company itself could potentially be accessed by competitors and used to keep the business from filing a patent for a certain product, launching a marketing campaign that could significantly boost business or implementing an idea intended to encourage customers to stay loyal.
Finally, businesses may be vulnerable to security breaches within their own company. Employees who have access to too much information or too wide a variety of information may be able to steal from the company. While most businesses do not want to think about the possibility that their own employees may be acting unscrupulously in a way that hurts the company, there is a real risk that theft of funds or company secrets could happen.
–IT audits — One technique for identifying areas of weakness is to allow a professional to perform an IT audit.
–Strong passwords -Strong passwords should be used for every different access point that requires one.
–If there is even a suspicion that a password has been compromised, err on the side of caution and change it.
–Data Encryption – Data that is sent online can be protected through encryption, and it is also possible to encrypt the data found on a hard drive or USB drive.
Keep employees informed about data safety
Employees who may have work laptops or mobile devices often fail to use these devices securely because they do not think of the possibility of a security breach. Educate employees about the proper use of devices used for work, and remind them that safety must continue beyond the workplace if these devices are taken home.
Keeping data secure in the workplace is a must to avoid dangerous breaches that could result in financial losses to the company. Involve employees in efforts to boost security, and use data destruction services to properly dispose of unneeded digital information related to the business.
About The Author: George Hillston is professional freelance writer and passionate information security blogger. Visit his Google G+ to see more of his work.