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10 Steps for Data Breach Prevention in the Workplace

UK businesses face unprecedented levels of data security threats. How are you protecting your corporate data? Here are ten steps for reducing your data breach exposure:

1. Know Where Information Is Stored

You can’t protect your data without knowing where it’s stored. Locate your document and data storage repositories. If the process is too time consuming and challenging, engage a records management provider. A team of dedicated indexing specialists will categorise and label your documents and data so you have a full account of your information.

2. Train Your Employees

An educated and prepared team is the first line of defence from corporate data breaches. Train your staff on why data security is important and what they can do to protect sensitive information. Make learning sessions fun, informative and ongoing.

3. Implement a Clean Desk Policy

Workplace disorganisation poses serious data privacy risks. Documents left unattended in copy rooms, common areas, and at workstations are vulnerable to unauthorised exposure. A clean desk policy establishes standards for keeping sensitive information under control. Mandate that at the end of each day, employees clear their desks and store files in a designated secure area.

4. Limit Access

Controlling data spread throughout your organisation is a challenge. A file storage service consolidates your files in one centralised, secure repository. They’re stored in a records centre protected with advanced security systems, including:

  • entry access controls
  • monitored video surveillance
  • fire detection and suppression technology
  • secure loading and unloading areas

Each box and file is bar coded, entered into a tracking database, and managed by background-screened records management professionals.

5. Destroy Outdated Records

Hoarding outdated paper records increases your company’s data breach exposure. A secure destruction service ensures your expired records and media are routinely destroyed.

6. Update Your Software

Hackers exploit gaps in outdated software. Software updates include critical patches that close security holes. Install them on your devices as soon as they’re available.

7. Upgrade Passwords

Weak, outdated passwords put data at risk. Require passwords that combine letters, numbers and non-alphanumeric characters; the longer the better. Different passwords should be used on different systems. A password management program can store employee passwords in a central encrypted database.

8. Protect Your Backup Media

Your data is only as secure as the media it’s stored on. Protect your data tapes by investing in a secure media storage solution.

A media vault protects your backup media from theft, fires, floods and natural disasters. Find a data vault that offers following features:

  • heat- and fire-resistant paneling
  • temperature and humidity regulation systems
  • security monitoring and entry control systems

Daily, weekly, or monthly, your data protection provider transports your media tapes to the media vault for secure offsite storage. Advanced data tracking technology records and tracks your media using your existing tape bar codes and reference codes.

9. Reduce BYOD Liabilities

The growing popularity of mobile devices in the workplace presents security challenges for every organisation. A bring your own device (BYOD) policy outlines standards for personal device use at work and underscores the importance of keeping personal and work data separate.

10. Appoint a Data Protection Officer

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires certain organisations to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO). The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has created an online tool to help your organisation determine if it needs a DPO. Your DPO should manage your all of your organisation’s data protection practices, including media destruction.

For more data security tips, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

Archive Document Data Storage (ADDS) provides record sand information management solutions for businesses throughout London, Bristol, Bath, and Swindon.

Natasha Rawley The File Queen: Expert in Record & Information Management, LPM Columnist.

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