How to secure sensitive information in the workplace

Information is everything in today’s world and a company always has lots of sensitive information it needs to protect. The government for most countries generally offers plenty of advice on how to secure your vital information, but many business owners fail to do so. It’s usually when they lose precious information that they understand their error. Here are a few tips to help you secure your company’s vital information.

 

Ask for employment background checks

Before you start wrapping your head around technical matters, look at the human element. It’s not only hackers that steal information, but also the people that supposedly work for you. If you know what’s good for you, make sure that all your new employees submit to a background check to eliminate the risk of hiring people with a criminal record for offences like theft, fraud, embezzlement or even espionage.

In countries like Australia, employers don’t need to worry they’re going to waste a lot of time with police checks. You can always use the services of a background check service. Submitting the required information to the platform generally requires a few minutes and the candidate will  get a full nationally coordinated criminal history check (ncchc) delivered to their email. This way you’ll know for sure that the new employee doesn’t have a criminal past and they’re safe to hire.

 

Keep confidential documents under lock

Nowadays, people focus their attention on digital information, but let’s not forget that much of your sensitive information appears on documents you print out and circulate around the office.

The first thing you need to do is invest in secure metal filing cabinets and keep your valuable records under lock and key.

If it’s a sensitive document, use a need-to-know approach. Only give that document to people who need to have a look at it. If necessary, see to it that they consult that document only in your office. As soon as they’re done, return the document to the filing cabinet.

Also, invest in a couple of document shredders. If an important document is thrown to the bin anyone can retrieve it and steal the information it contains. If you work with a sensitive document you no longer need to feed it through the shredder so you know it’s completely destroyed.

If you need to send important paper documents to someone in another building or another city for that matter, only use trusted delivery methods. Don’t entrust your sensitive papers to just anyone. If need be, deliver those papers personally.

 

Enforce the use of secure passwords

As far as the computers in your office are concerned, you need to make sure all employees use secure passwords. Invest in a good password generating software and train your employees to only use secure passwords. Their date of birth or their dog’s name is not a secure password.

Also, have your system administrators establish routines so employees can only access information they need to. If they have no business with the accounting department. They have no business accessing those computers. It’s that simple.

 

Reference

ACSC Annual Cyber Threat Report 2020-21 – https://www.cyber.gov.au/acsc/view-all-content/reports-and-statistics/acsc-annual-cyber-threat-report-2020-21

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