Knowing how to safeguard confidential data is one of the biggest concerns of any company in any industry. Confidential data is a huge part of many businesses, and if anything negative or untoward happened to customer or employee data, there would be an uproar once they found out. Identity theft, as you likely know, is an issue, and many businesses take several preventative steps to stop this from happening. The bottom line is, safeguarding confidential data should be at the forefront of any business manager’s mind. Your company should have clear policies on how to deal with confidential data and what the safeguarding procedures are. You should also ensure that your employees know what to do in the case that they believe sensitive information may have been leaked in any way – accidental or not.
Several different policies should be in place for any business that deals with confidential information. Including, but not limited to, document retention policies and clean desk policies. Document retention will ensure that your business does not hold on to an unnecessary amount of sensitive documentation for a longer period that it needs to, and the clean desk policy will keep prying eyes away from paperwork they shouldn’t see.
Whatever policies you choose to implement in your company, you should make sure that all of your employees are aware of any changes you are making and what those changes mean for them. Transparency is the key to success in business.
Once your employees know what to do, it’s up to all of you to keep track of where the sensitive data is being kept and keep any passwords safe. If copies are also being kept on computers around your business, ensure that your anti-virus software and your firewalls are always up to date, as well. This will keep both hard copies and soft copies of your sensitive data as safe as it can be.
Controlling Data Access
No one who doesn’t need access to the data, or shouldn’t have access to it, should be able to get a hold of it in any way. You should have a list of everyone who has access to the data, and where the data is being kept without being too obvious about it. This information, itself, should be safely guarded, and only relevant managers should know about these lists. Only give access where it is necessary.
Next, try to control what your employees post online while they’re at work. Sensitive information can be easily leaked through online activities – even simple things like social media updates that use images or videos. Your business likely has social media accounts, so check in with your social team and train them on looking out for data that shouldn’t appear online. A good rule of thumb is this: If it has any statistics or any personal information on it, then it’s sensitive data and shouldn’t be visible.
Finally, a mistake that all businesses make. Wipe down your whiteboards after you’re finished in meeting rooms. Information is information, after all.
At Greenaway, we help businesses manage and safeguard their confidential data at the end of its lifespan. Once the data is no longer required, GDPR states that you need to dispose of it in a secure and confidential way, ensuring complete destruction of any sensitive or personal information. Shredding is the perfect way to do this, as once data has been destroyed there is no way to get it back. We even provide secure, lockable units to store your data in until your next shredding appointment. If you would like to find out more, please get in touch with the team today.