Let’s talk about security for a second. The perpetual upward swing of technological advancement offers us a plethora of opportunities to make our lives easier, yet it can also complicate them as well as the operations of organizations. These complications may take the form of new and confusing technologies that need to be learned in order to keep up with (or ahead of) modern trends. But these complications can also take on a much sinister form. With every new innovation, every new fantastic piece of hardware or software, there are people dedicated to breaking it down and manipulating it to suit their various ends. As long as we have things that can be broken into, there will be those who are committed to breaking into them. Their motives may vary, though their goal is the same – to get their hands on sensitive, private data.
As we’ve seen in recent events, not even corporations who are global juggernauts are safe from the sticky fingers of hackers and data thieves. This means that it’s more important than ever to remain vigilant regarding your organization’s security. With that in mind, here are a few ways in which you can help keep sensitive data safe and prevent security breaches.
First, pay attention to who can access what in your organization’s systems. How are you locking down certain kinds of information? How is this information stored? If you’re using simple word processing or spreadsheet programs to organize and store data, you may be exposing yourself unnecessarily. If you have a way of securing this data, how complex is that security? What kinds of passwords are you using? It’s a good idea to have different passwords for different areas, to make those passwords as complicated as possible, and to not write them down anywhere. It’s also a good idea to change them periodically.
Next, how are you sharing information? Let’s say you have spreadsheets with compensation and salary data going back and forth between managers and HR. All of this data is vulnerable to being intercepted by a third party with relative ease. It’s important to NEVER send sensitive information through email, as it’s not a secure technology at all. The best way to share such information would be to have a secure system holding it which is accessible only by those who need to access it.
Even if you think your organization is fairly secure, it’s a good idea to ensure that there aren’t any loose ends or weak links. Even little, seemingly insignificant corners you may be cutting can lead to problems down the road. It may be necessary to invest in security measures and closed systems in order to ensure that no prying eyes see something they shouldn’t, which can create big problems for your organization.