3 Tips for Preventing Theft Of Data by an Employee

You have a trustworthy staff, a positive working environment and solid IT security plan. It may seem like your company’s data is safe, but no business is immune from insider threats. Even your best employees can accidentally compromise information. In fact, seventy-one percent of such incidents within companies are unintentional and often result from preventable mistakes.

The good news is you can easily close gaps in data security and keep your company’s reputation intact with these three tips.

1. Educate the Workforce

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Phishing emails are common sources of data security problems within companies. Employees may receive emails appearing to be legitimate, click on links leading to copycat sites, enter confidential information such as a username/password combo and wind up compromising your entire network.

Arm your staff with the knowledge they need to identify and avoid phishing attempts. Teach them to differentiate between authentic and bogus web addresses, and create a system through which they can report malicious emails.

2. Clarify Your BYOD Policy

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The popularity of cloud access and software-as-a-service providers has made it possible for many businesses to support mobile employees. However, perpetual connectivity opens up new threats to data security

Staff members may download information to personal devices without realizing they’re inadvertently stealing, they might attempt to transfer data over unencrypted public connections while working in the field or they may download information to a mobile device that is not secure. If this device is lost all of the data on it can become compromised.

Make sure your company has a clear use policy for all devices, including the proper way to access, store and transport data when moving between locations. Also have a plan in place should a device become lost or stolen.

Make sure employees feel comfortable coming to you in instances where data may have become compromised. If an employee feels he or she will be terminated for such mistakes, the employee may not come forward until it’s too late. Have a policy in place that makes employees feel comfortable.

3. Control Access at Every Level

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Employees require internal access to applications and systems, but too much freedom in this area can result in data becoming compromised.

Grant only the level of access necessary for each employee to do his or her job. Don’t allow anyone the ability to read, download or share anything not absolutely essential to their current projects or the department in which they work.

If third-party access must be granted to vendors or clients for a particular job, put a protocol in place to prevent accidental admittance into restricted areas of the system, and ensure access is revoked once the relationship comes to an end.

Although trusting your employees is vital to having a healthy company, preventing insider threats from causing data theft requires something more. Education, clear policies and access restriction all provide additional security to lessen the risk of data compromise and keep your business information safe.

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