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Information Security: Top 10 Ways to Keep Your Office Secure

Posted July 17, 2014 by Lynn Brown

It is critical today that every size organization protect itself from data breach incidents –and all the repercussions.

Last year, it cost U.S. companies an average of $5.4 million to cope with the after-effects of data breaches – and that was up nine percent from the year before, according to the Ponemon Institute 2014 Cost of Data Breach Study.

A business also faces legal action, and the relationships it has built with customers and partners are damaged too.

Here are 10 top ways to improve information security in your workplace:

1. Make security a priority.  Provide clear and simple security policies. Appoint a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) as well as a safety committee to help keep security issues a focus.

2. Provide regular training. Review information safety protocols and policies regularly with staff. Teach staff how to spot the signs of a breach, and what to do when they see something suspicious. 

3. Utilize the latest and best computer protection.  According to The Ponemon Institute Exposing the Cybersecurity Cracks: A Global Perspective, sponsored by Websense, Inc., systems often fall short in terms of protection from cyber attacks and data leakage. The recommendations: invest in technologies that provide visibility and details about attempted attacks; and deploy an all-encompassing defense strategy that incorporates web, email and mobile challenges.

4. Conduct regular security audits. A security audit helps to identify unique security gaps. To determine the level of document security in your workplace, here is a free security risk assessment.

5. Protect your mobile work force. Ensure that mobile technology is as secure as possible. Provide BYOD Bring Your Own Device policies, and train employees to protect information and devices they carry.

6. Put physical information security barriers in place. Secure the workplace by issuing keys/passes to employees, and having all visitors register and receive security clearance and ID.  

7. Create a secure document management policy. Track document lifecycle from data generation and storage to document destruction based on compliance regulations. Limit access to sensitive documents. Here is how to develop a document management policy.

8. Highlight asset disposal.  In the 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report from Verizon, 49% of miscellaneous errors that lead to an information breach involved printed documents. To dispose of documents securely, partner with a reliable document disposal company that provides a secure chain of custody including locked consoles, secure document shredding on or off site, and a document of destruction after every shred. A shred-all policy simplifies the disposal process and reduces the risk of employee error in deciding whether a document is private or not.

9. Destroy hard drives and e-media too. Physical hard drive destruction is the only 100% secure way to destroy data from hard drives permanently. Speak to your document destruction partner about electronic media destruction services.

10. Implement a Clean Desk Policy. A clean desk policy means workspaces are free of clutter and visible documents – at the end of every day and when employees leave their desks unattended. This improves information security and creates a positive company image. Here is how to establish a clean desk policy.

Learn more about simple information security solutions that can help protect your offices from security breaches. 

Let Shred-it help keep your workplace secure.

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