How to Get Your Team On-Board with Company-Wide Data Protection

By: Jamie Neilon

You’re likely to benefit significantly from turning to security teams and vendors for data protection, but your employees also need to help by adhering to certain policies and engaging in best practices.

The following are some of the ways you can make sure your company makes security a team effort.

Emphasize the Need for Data Protection

Make sure your employees have a good understanding of how important data protection is considering all of the potential threats out there today, and inform them of the specific risks, from phishing scams requesting personal data and data loss to hackers who might attempt to access personal data. If any employee or customer data is ever compromised or lost, this could result in serious consequences for customers along with the entire company. Systems infected with malware can also be detrimental to overall efficiency and productivity.

Ensure Best Practices in Password Creation and Management

Passwords can have a big effect on a company’s security. Make sure there are strict guidelines in place when it comes to creating strong passwords and storing them securely. For instance, you might want to ensure that passwords are of a certain length and include unique combinations of upper- and lower-case letters along with numbers, and use a secure password management program that employees can access and use to share passwords. You may also want to consider updating passwords on a regular basis when needed. You should also have employees use unique passwords for each website in lieu of a universal password.

Make Employees Aware of Potential Scams

It’s also important to make sure all employees are aware of the various types of phishing scams that they may come across. Teach them to look for any signs of an illegitimate email that appears to come from a reputable company or even from another colleague or superior in the company. Employees should check the sender to see any suspicious features in the email or review the subject header.

If an employee is unsure whether a link to a website is valid when included in an email, he or she will be better off visiting the official website instead of clicking on the link.

Make sure employees also avoid phone scams and never provide confidential information in phone calls from individuals they don’t know.

Keep All Devices Secured and Locked When Not in Use

Whenever employees aren’t using laptops or desktops in the office, make sure they know to lock their screens or temporarily log out when leaving their desks for any period of time. At the end of the day, all devices should be turned off. You may also benefit from physically locking all office laptops when not in use.

Develop Secure BYOD Policies

If employees are allowed to access sensitive data using their own devices from any location, take steps to secure these devices and further secure data from unauthorized access. Bring your own device policies should be clear and include two-factor authorization steps, which could require employees to use a certain program to provide them with a one-use code before accessing secure platforms on personal devices out of the office. You may also want to tell employees to avoid saving any data locally on their own devices.

Encourage Proactivity

Employees should have an active role in keeping the company secure. If employees see anything suspicious at any point, they should know who to report the activity to and report it as soon as possible. They should also know to report any lost or stolen devices in addition to suspicious activity to the IT team, who can take the appropriate steps to prevent any potential compromises in security.

Taking all these steps can help make sure that everyone in your company is on the same page when it comes to data protection. In turn, you can benefit from optimal security and peace of mind.

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