It may seem paranoid, but there are many reasons why someone would want to steal sensitive information from your company.
For one, they could sell it on the black market for profit or use it maliciously against you and your company’s interests. Besides, an employee with access to such data might have their computer compromised by a hacker looking for valuable information.
Protecting yourself from such dangers starts with ensuring you’ve safeguarded all your company data against unauthorized eyes.
But how do you do it?
1. Password Protect Crucial Files
It’s astounding how many small business owners keep important documents on their laptops, potentially exposing sensitive information if lost or stolen.
Besides, sending PDF email attachments is almost second nature nowadays. But have you ever stopped for a minute to consider whether the confidential file you’re about to share is secure?
You can password protect your files as an extra level of security by using the Microsoft Word and Excel features that restrict users from opening them without a username and password.
Adobe Acrobat allows you to password protect PDF files to prevent unauthorized editing, printing, copying, or even looking at someone else’s work, which is perfect for sending out contracts.
Here’s how you can add a password using Adobe Acrobat DC:
- View the PDF in Acrobat.
- Open the “File” tab and click the “Protect using Password” feature.
- Set the password purpose. i.e., for viewing only or editing.
- Key in your password, and confirm it.
- Enter “Apply.”
2. Safeguard the Perimeter, But Don’t Forget the Data
It is not enough just to protect your perimeter from cyber-attacks.
If you want a safe and secure business environment, it’s also crucial to protect the data itself.
While many organizations are spending their limited resources putting in firewalls or hiring security personnel, they may be overlooking other potential avenues of attack.
1. Customers who access sensitive information through social media networks without proper protection software installed.
2. Suppliers that steal confidential information about new products before it reaches production lines for implementation into company plans.
Security software like an intrusion detection system (IDS) will alert you if someone tries to breach any defenses. However, this doesn’t mean there isn’t still a risk because anything connected wirelessly is vulnerable.
For these reasons, if you want complete peace of mind regarding the safety of your company’s data, then safeguarding the data itself must be your priority instead of merely instituting firewalls at every turn.
3. Discard Redundant Data
Sensitive data is a significant part of many industries, so it’s critical to have information disposal mechanisms in place.
For example, healthcare companies usually protect sensitive health records. Financial firms avoid leaving confidential banking details on computers that are no longer in use. The public sector and educational institutions that frequently deal with personal information like social security numbers or addresses also need to protect their data.
Ensuring that you have a system for securely disposing of this data is crucial to thwarting potential disasters such as outdated files being leaked or stolen down the line.
Having an appropriate disposal method like deleting, shredding, or erasing redundant data so that they are indecipherable will ensure that unauthorized personnel will not stash these old files away somewhere where they shouldn’t be found later on.
In today’s world, it is more important than ever to be vigilant about your company’s security. What steps have you taken at work?
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