Simple steps to keep your company information breach-free

Every week, you read about organizations suffering financial and reputational damage from the loss of sensitive company information at the hands of employees.Simple Steps Sometimes, the publicity around the loss of information such as trade secrets and details of contracts can be even more damaging!

It's therefore important to have complete confidence that personal information is properly protected. Strict procedures detailing the handling and secure destruction of information should be in place, as well as ensuring all employees are aware of their responsibilities.

To ensure your companies' data is managed and disposed of securely, follow these simple steps:

Human error - It's estimated that 80 per cent of data breaches stem from human error. Make sure all members of temporary and permanent staff understand what is expected of them to reduce the risk of breaches and ensure the consequences of not protecting sensitive data are fully understood. Remember to ask staff to sign a document to confirm they have understood and nominate a "go to" person for individuals who have any queries or concerns within your organization.

Data protection - Company data protection policies must be reviewed regularly to ensure they are up-to-date and compliant with current legislation.

Sensitive data - Make sure all paper files and media devices containing sensitive information are kept under lock and key. Access should only be given to the information employees need to do their jobs!

Data disposal - To eliminate the risk of human error, implement a "shred all" policy so that staff are not confused about what is confidential information. Remember to wipe information from all electronic devices before destruction.

Encryption and password protection - Passwords should be changed regularly and contain a minimum combination of six to eight letters and numbers, using both upper and lower case letters. This will reduce the risk of passwords being compromised. Encryption strengthens data privacy and should be placed on all devices, including back up tapes and laptops.

For further insight into how to meet regulatory requirements, visit our RIM Insight page.