Managing Data Theft in Companies
It’s easy to establish a business, but managing one successfully can be a real challenge. Of all the real challenges faced by managers, preventing data theft indeed seems to be most difficult of all. Here are some of the things that companies can do to protect their data:
- Form a comprehensive data protection policy: It should be ingrained in the minds of the employees’ right from the time they sign the dotted line that breach of the company’s security policy is dealt with very seriously and could lead to a criminal offence. Even as the employee is being inducted into the company, he has to be made to understand that there would be zero tolerance of security breaches. It also helps to compartmentalize and restrict data. Thus, sales personnel would not have access to data that is related to the marketing department, and vice versa. Give access only when it is necessary and no more. Use of key card access systems is also helpful. Today, there are different types of card access systems that include use of key fobs, numeric PIN’s, and biometric finger print readers, and can be used by businesses of all sizes; from small and mid-sized to large enterprises.
- Identify the enemy: Before you try and suspect everyone working for you, it is important to first identity and classify potential threats. For most companies, the threat looms large in the form of three different types of people; employees, external hackers, and contractors. Access by these people can be controlled with the use of the key card access system. Thus contractors shall not be allowed in sensitive places without permission etc. And if they are to be allowed, a door intercom video system can help to determine who is visiting the company and also help to validate his credentials. As for hackers, it’s always important to seek help from good business security companies and install firewalls on the computer.
- Look into the details: Know that this is a war that cannot be won 100 per cent of the time. But make sure you have looked into the details carefully. You can disable CD writers, USB drives, install outgoing email quarantine software, restrict access to the internet, and if possible encrypt data. Of course, nothing would stop the employee from taking a screenshot of the data, or capturing the image in their camera. But then, there are companies that have disallowed the use of mobile phones in areas where customer details like credit card numbers are accessed. Even notepads cannot be saved in these computers. Employees are subject to a strict scrutiny, before and after they enter the operations floor.
But more importantly, make sure that you educate employees and everyone involved, about the consequences of data theft and strive to maintain a culture of faith and trust.
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