The ongoing boom in the technology sector continues to present entrepreneurs with numerous shortcuts to realizing greater employee productivity and maximal ROIs with minimal expenses. A lot of resources have in effect been devoted to the development of new applications, software, and interactive portals between the company systems and employees. However, this advancement has exposed the employee data to a wide range of privacy threats both online and within the organizations.
Note that just as developers come up with more sophisticated data collection and preservation techniques, so do hackers in devising data breach and system penetration tools. Every entrepreneur and their IT personnel are thus under constant pressure to identify and implement data protection tools that help you protect your employee data now and in future. Here are four practical steps on how to go about it.
Maximize Your Data Mapping Techniques
Data mapping is the act of identifying different apps and systems linked to your organization and how each interacts with the various types of information held by the company such as employee and customer data. Through mapping, you are not only able to tell how many business applications and systems access your employee data but how much data each of the applications can access at any given time. Using this information you can minimize the amount of employee information accessible through these applications.
Establish Strong Passwords
How effective are your passwords? Do you use different passwords for different types of data, company systems, and devices and how do you generate these passwords? Most importantly, who has access and sole responsibility regarding the custody of these usernames and passwords? Note that, these seemingly obvious factors ultimately determines the effectiveness of your and may the only thing standing between your staff information and sensitive information peddlers.
One of the safest methods of safeguarding your sensitive staff information is after mapping is segmenting your company data. For instance, have different informational pockets for your employees and clients. Additionally, have a different and strong username and password for every data packet, each of which is assigned a different custodian. For instance, your HR can be a custodian of the username and password of the staff information.
According to Microsoft, apart from being more than eight characters long, a strong password should also contain letters, both lower and upper case, numerals and symbols. You should also avoid using common words, names or events such as pet names or birth dates, even when spelled backward as passwords. You can also use real-time and generic password generators such as Google Authenticator for more sensitive information.
Put Up a Reliable and Up-To-Date Firewall
A secure internal network firewall also comes in handy by dealing with access to the company network by outsiders. With strong, possibly multiple, firewalls your IT personnel can monitor the level and impact of internet traffic in and out of your organization. Some firewalls might even help you to either limit or prohibit access to certain information without proper authorization. The firewall might also help you flag off suspicious IP addresses.
Educate Your Employees
Not so surprisingly, even after the establishment of different levels of data protection techniques around an enterprise, hackers are still able to gain access to your sensitive staff information. But how do they by-pass the strong passwords and firewalls? Check and educate your employees. Understand that a significant number of all informational data breaches occur due to human error, ignorance or blatant collusion. There is, therefore, the need to educate your employees on the importance of computer security to the company.
During these training sessions, emphasize on the effects of clicking on and opening unsolicited email attachments as they are often laced with Trojan programs and worms. Warn your staff about the risks associated with reckless and sloppy practices around the company’s devices, applications, and networks. Most importantly, aim at creating a company culture that lays emphasis to computer security.
The last thing any employer needs is finding their employee information floated for sale over the internet or being ransomed to buy back the data. You can avoid this by implementing strong controls and privacy protection tools around the programs and devices handling sensitive employee information. Nonetheless, understand none of these strategies is quite foolproof. Therefore, you should take it upon yourself and always seek familiarity with the various advancements in data protection techniques and implement them in your organization.