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How Many Information Security Risks Can You Spot in the Workplace?

Posted  October 02, 2018  by  Lynn Brown



Are you aware of the common information security risks in your workplace?

One way to find out is to have an information security risk assessment, which is a professional review of the systems and people that manage sensitive information. It can also be helpful to simply walk through the workplace looking for data security risks. 

Here are nine types of information security threats to look for – and how to reduce them. Common threats include:

  1. Mobile devices left out: While smart phones and other devices allow employees to work anywhere, there’s also an increased risk of theft and hacking. Solution: Never leave devices unattended. Password-protect devices, and encrypt sensitive files.  
  2. Stock-piled computers: Old hard drives are IT security risks. They confidential data that can be recovered by information thieves with available software. Solution: The workplace should partner with a document destruction expert that securely destroys legacy and broken hard drives.
  3. Unsecure photocopiers: Hard drives within photocopiers store data – and can be hacked or physically stolen. Employees often leave documents behind in copiers too. Solution: Collect documents as soon as they are printed. Put photocopier in a protected room, and utilize all of its built-in security. When the machine is unfixable, have the hard drive securely destroyed.
  4. Paper clutter: Data compromises still happen the old-fashioned way—through lost or stolen paper documents. Solution: A Clean Desk Policy will help make the workplace clutter-free. Lock documents away; when no longer needed, put them into locked consoles for secure destruction.
  5. No one in charge of security: Most CIOs expect cyber threats to increase but only 65% have a cyber security expert, according to the 2018 CIO Agenda Survey by Gartner. Solution: The company should appoint a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) or other lead.
  6. Open concept office: While this office design improves communication and collaboration, it also increases the threat of visual hacking and device and document theft. Solution: Don’t leave work unattended. Power down or lock away equipment (and confidential documents) when away from your desk.  
  7. Paper documents in blue recycling boxes: Disposing of paper in the blue box is a security risk. Identity theft is the nation’s number one complaint, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Solution: The document destruction partner should provide locked consoles for documents and have a secure chain of custody for removal and shredding.

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