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Are Your Employees Security Skilled?

January 24, 2015


Employees are the biggest and most important factor of any business. Loyal and smart employees translate to good profits and turnovers, and the reverse is also true. In many data breach mishaps, the employee’s carelessness has been the main causative factor. This is not necessarily done intentionally by the employees, but when they are improperly and inadequately trained on how to safely keep data, they can make mistakes more easily.

There have been a large number of cases where when employees lose their company data in the form of storage devices like hard drives and USB devices, they have caused a data breach incident to occur. Although it would have been easy to pin point at the particular employee who erred and blame it on them for the losses caused, owners have to understand that these kinds of mistakes arise from a lack of employee training. Instead of focusing on that particular employee’s mistake, the company has to look into training all their employees about such matters so that the same mistake is not done again by another employee.

Data security training

Data security training is an important course to send all your employees to. Be it that they write important documents, they handle crucial papers or they dispose the documents in your office. Thus, all of them need to know how things should be done in a way to protect the company’s information. The training can be tailored to the different groups of staff working in your company.

Those higher in the hierarchy should be trained how to safely keep the information of the company and also be trained of how to supervise those under them on how the information is handled and then disposed. Those lower down in the hierarchy should be informed that by the Swiss Cheese model of mistakes, errors can slip those who are higher up compared to them and land in the hands of those under them, and it is their responsibility to identify and rectify that. It is in all a whole effort by everyone in the company, despite their positions and roles in the company.

Abiding to government policies

The government has actually set multiple guidelines and policies for companies and their workers to follow so as to prevent any data leak or breach. This is done in protection of the industries, and abiding by them itself can save any mistakes from happening. The problem is that many employees are not aware about such guidelines and policies.

Even if they are aware, they do not run through the thick documents of guidelines and policies and study them. The company has to have a small team in this case to summaries such policies and guidelines and compartmentalize these guidelines according to the usage in different departments by the different employees, and give them the information in a succinct form which they can adhere to. This can be done by coming up with mnemonics and posters which can be put around the relevant departments for them to be a working and physical reminder for the workers.

Regular training

Training would not be adequate if it is not done regularly. Even if employees have undergone data security training before in the same company or their previous company of employment, it is crucial to introduce to them the relevant and important topics as a refresher course once in a while. Having a system where employees get certificates for attending such programs can be instilled, and this can play a role in the total incentives they get as part of working in the company. This would encourage workers to actively participate in such courses and be cautious about data protection and security.

Address security skills gap

All employees would not have the same level of knowledge on how to tackle issues pertaining data security. Even amongst those of the same positions and post, they might have varying levels of knowledge, ideas and opinions about data protection and security. This gap in knowledge amongst everyone has to be addressed and the company should strive to get every employee to hit the standard level of knowledge of this matter so that mistakes are not done without knowing.

Instil you own policies in your company

After everyone has been trained and after the training has been going on regularly, help your employees remember the important ideas and information by instilling your own policies. Each company is different and each company would have its own way of working. According to your individual company and workforce behaviour, instil your own unique policies for your departments to work with closely.

Each department likewise is also different, and each department head can come up with their own policies as well all in line to strive for good data protection and security. Setting up a team of employees from different classes to come up with such policies would help address data protection issues all around you company’s departments.

Contact us at Papersavers Limited if you require document storage for your sensitive data and materials. Our storage facilities in Markham Ontario can provide you peace of mind when it comes to managing your data well.

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