November 05, 2019

Six Ways to Improve Employee Information Security

As the old adage goes, ‘you’re only as strong as your weakest link’. This is especially true when it comes to a company’s information security practices. This was made evident in the 2019 Shred-it Data Protection Report (DPR) which found 52% of C-Suites and 40% of SBO’s report human error/accidental loss by an employee/insider to be the main cause of a data breach. Even more shocking is that two-thirds (68%) of businesses reported that their organization experienced at least one data breach in the past 12 months.

These breaches can have a significant impact on an organization. In addition to direct loss of pertinent data, a breach can have a direct monetary cost, and greatly erode customer trust. In the current climate trust has become a non-renewable resource. With consumer confidence in data security already exceptionally low, just one breach can have a disastrous impact to a company’s reputation.

Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the case, because with the appropriate training, employees can be an essential asset in preventing future data breaches.
How Can Information Security be Improved in the Workplace?

1. Institute formal data security training and policies

The first step to improving employee information security is making sure your organization has ongoing formal information security training programs, cyber security policies, incident response plans
and backup/restoration procedures. This will ensure that best practices are maintained, and employees are continually educated on the latest threats.

2. Enforce a Shred-it All Policy

A Shred-it All policy is a comprehensive approach to securely disposing of paper documents by specifying that all documents are destroyed when they are no longer needed. This removes the need for employees to make the determination of whether something should or shouldn’t be shredded, therefore establishing secure document destruction as the norm.

3. Implement a Clean Desk Policy

A clean desk policy is a simple yet effective way to make sure sensitive information is protected at all times from other employees, cleaners, office visitors or anyone who may pass by. This is especially important given many individuals now work in an open office environment.

4. Install and make sure anti-virus software is up-to-date

In the lightning fast world of technology, attacks and threats are continually evolving. This is why it is important to make sure all your employee computers have the most up to date anti-virus software, and updates are set automatically.

5. Have a strong password protocol

It may seem simple but one of the most important precautions employees can take is having an effective password. Unfortunately most employees do not know the difference between a weak and a strong password. Educating employees and developing a careful password construction strategy will create an effective first line of defense for data breaches. 

6. Foster a culture of information security

Starting from the top, it is important that data protection is an integral part of an organization’s corporate culture. So that no matter their position, all employees set an example to incorporate daily information security habits into their routine.

Improve Your Employee Information Security Today

Keep your employees informed and your workplace secure with the help of Shred-it. Learn more about how we can protect your documents and hard drives, by  contacting us to get a free quote and security risk assessment.