Securing your Company Data Against Internal Threats

Intcontrol.jpgThe lifeblood of every company is their data.  Whether the data is credit card information from their clients or personal information about their employees, companies must have solid plans in place to protect the information they handle on a daily basis.  These plans must ensure a company can effectively conduct their business activities on a daily basis in order to assure their customers they intend to stand behind their good reputation.

The first step in securing your company data against internal threats starts with the hiring process you follow to in order to employ honest people.  Make sure your HR staff understands your commitment to verification processes.  Instruct them to follow through on background checks without exception.  Even if one of your current employees "knows someone" and vouches for their reputation, the only way to truly know what is in someone's background is by performing checks to verify their information.  Either you or your HR staff should ask for references from potential employees and check them.  In addition, verify their previous employment dates and their educational background. 

 Once you've verified your employees' credentials, the next step is instituting company-wide policies for good work practises designed to keep data secure.   Your IT staff can do a lot to ensure data integrity.  Have them require strong passwords from everyone that change on a regular basis.  Review what data is available on your computer systems and have your administer only give access rights to data on a need to know basis.  Your IT people can best advise you about a BYOD (bring your own device) policy to ensure company data is securely handled.

In addition, lead by example and let managers know you expect the same from them.  Everyone should know your company takes data threats, both internally and externally, very seriously.  Train new hires to shred documents on a regular basis and clear their desks of company data when they leave their cubicle.  Place placards throughout the building to remind employees that data security is of the utmost importance.  Lastly, make it clear to your staff that lax office habits will reflect very poorly on their performance reviews and could be grounds for dismissal.

Companies must protect the data entrusted to them by their customers and their other employees or find themselves suffering from a damaged reputation or out of business altogether.  For more information on how to secure your company's data from internal and external threats, please contact us.