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Simple Ways To Improve Information Security In Your Organization

February 28, 2015


Every day, we hear stories of huge data security breaches and whistle blowers in the corporate world but what we do not realize is that there are other aspects of data security that are less complicated and are directly related to the processes at the workplace and the day-to-day operations of employees. The best way to curb these forms of data breaches, is to have a comprehensive policy on information security woven into the day to day operations of every employee. The following are cheap strategies to curb data breaches within your organization.

Regular training sessions for employees

As a company policy, employees should be given regular trainings on data security best practices in their respective fields. This should include training in privacy laws and copyright. The company should also provide regular reminders for the employees through memos and e-newsletters to ensure they stay on their toes.

Confidentiality agreements

Upon hiring, employees should be made to sign confidentiality agreements acknowledging that they are aware of the information security program. This will ensure that they are legally bound to the agreement and cannot divulge information about the company to outsiders and therefore reducing the risk of exposure.

Restricted access to confidential Information and individual access policies

The organization should have control over confidential information. This can be done by compartmentalization of information. Access to information can be controlled and employees only given access to information that they need to do their jobs and nothing more.

The organization’s mobile team, for example the marketing group, should have their own policies concerning information security. For instance, they should only be allowed to retrieve information that they absolutely need to perform their duties and thereafter, return it to the relevant authorities for safe keeping. This is especially important with confidential information

Use of locked consoles and storage units

Your organization should avoid using open recycling bins as this presents a gaping security hole by providing a lot of information to unknown number of people. Locked storage units should be provided in convenient locations within the organization. Alternatively, the organization can seek shredding services, on-site or otherwise.

Protect electronic and hard copy documents

The employees should take measures to protect the organization’s electronic documents and network. For example, when using computers, they should protect their monitors from prying eyes and change their log-in passwords often. They should avoid following links sent to them by people they do not know or that are not relevant to their work.

Alternatively, the employees can adhere to the clean desk policy ensuring that their desks are kept tidy. Confidential documents should be kept away as soon as they are done with and not left on the desks where other members of the organization or support staff can have access to them.

Lock and key

The simplest and easiest way to keep information from undesired eyes is to keep it under lock and key. Confidential information, whenever possible, should be kept locked away. Employees can be provided with lockable drawers that they can use to keep files that they use regularly. Printers, should also be kept in secure areas where they can be locked in as they may contain confidential information.

Partner with a shredding service or implement the shred all policy

The organization can partner with a reliable shredding service in Toronto. The employees can place the documents they are no longer using in locked consoles and the service provider can provide on-site, Off-site or drop-and-watch shredding at a reasonable fee. The service provider should also be able to provide E-media and hard-drive destruction services. Electronic devices if not well disposed of, can present a security risk to any organization.

The organization can decide to have a shred all policy where possible. In this case, the employees do not need to sort the files as confidential or otherwise as all files are deposited into locked consoles for shredding. This policy might not work for organizations that need hard copy records of their files.

Training on behavioral patterns of fraudsters and a strong culture

Such organization should provide its employees with regular trainings on the behavioral patterns of insider fraudsters. Often, organizations, protect themselves from external attacks but forget that there might be wolves among them. In order to fight insider fraud, the employees should be aware of the fraudsters’ behavioral patterns and have the means to report on them without revealing their identity.

There should be a strong corporate culture within the organization ensuring that the need to keep the integrity of the organization’s information security is engrained in every employee. To instill this, the organization can ensure that the performance review process includes the adherence to the information security program. This will provide enough motivation for employees to stick to the program and coupled with enough awareness trainings, should ensure minimized information security breaches.

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