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Protecting Your Business’s Data

Published on 03 June 2014
To ensure the protection of your company's data, there are a number of critical steps that must be taken. A data security breach could have very serious implications, and could come from any part of your business, no matter how big or small. Personal data could be leaked from anyone in the company, or from something as simple as a coding error, like the Heartbleed bug.

So how can you prevent this?

Follow these steps to protect your business from data breaches, and ultimately things like liability, litigation and data protection fines.

Secure Destruction

You must ensure that destruction of all data in the company, where necessary, is done securely. Hard copies should be shredded, either with best practice minimum width or a paper shredding service, like DataShred. Electronic copies should be wiped and physically destroyed.

Encryption Mechanisms

The recent exploitation of the underpinning of the security of the web, an OpenSSL bug, i.e. the Heartbleed bug, should be taken as a serious warning. You should make sure that the way that personal data is encrypted and transported over networks is regularly analysed and checked. Use multiple layers of encryption where possible.

Password Audit

Make sure that your employees have access to your internal password and security guidelines, and that compliance is actively monitored. Things like special characters and no dictionary words should be enforced, and certificates and encryption keys should be updated regularly.

Password Management Tools

If there are a number of different, complicated passwords, then consider the use of online password management systems. Some of the best don't cost a penny, so it makes sense to use one.

If your company is based in one location, then an offline password manager could be sufficient, as well as much more secure than its online counterpart.

Make sure that your employees always log out of any services when not in use.

Educating Your Staff

Everyone should be trained to help prevent data security leaks, and so everyone has equal responsibility in preventing it. Whether it's an improperly protected social media account or a poorly chosen password, it's essential that everyone in your organisation follows the policy that you have set as best practice. These steps will help build your reputation as a trusted company and will help consumers feel comfortable enough to begin handing over their data to you. They will ensure that you are protecting their sensitive data as well as your own.

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ISO 9001:2000 Code of Practice BS7858

European Information Destruction Standards BS EN 15713

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