These days, companies of all sizes and across all sectors must implement a data security plan. Many companies have access to a trove of valuable client data that must be protected. And, most of these same companies also have employee records that contain important information, such as social security and bank account numbers for tax and payroll purposes. Obviously, the documentation containing such items must be safely stored in virtually the same manner and with the same diligence that client data is protected. Plus, for plenty of businesses, there is more than likely a ton of sensitive company data that must be safeguarded as well.
Regardless of the type of data that is kept on hand, it should now be commonplace for companies to include security measures in their overall strategic plan. Unfortunately, even the most robust security plan and sophisticated technological systems may not suffice. This is generally not because of technological failings. Instead, it is due to the fact that people must handle data on a regular basis. Here are some of the reasons that people are the weakest link despite the strongest efforts to make security a priority and how using the right technology can help:
People think they are immune
It does not seem to matter how often people read about or hear about security breaches in the news. In general, people tend to think that massive breaches are something they will only ever hear about but not actually experience, kind of like contracting a rare illness. For this reason, far too many people do not take data security very seriously. Some simply do not pay much attention to security matters, while others flagrantly disregard it by doing things like sharing login and password information for private work accounts or attaching important documents to personal emails. Unfortunately, data breaches simply do not seem like a reality until they actually happen and they often happen because people do not think they are a reality.
One way for companies to mitigate this is to invest in a data storage solution that makes security a priority. Ideally, the selected solution should have features that will protect the data, even if the person using it fails to do so. For example, disabled printing is a great way to prevent confidential documents from being sent to print and then haphazardly left on a printer for anyone to see, which most people can attest happens far too often in the workplace.
People believe in the good of others
In addition to handling data in a careless manner, a lot of company employees will share that data with others without thinking twice about it. They may want a coworker to look at an item in order to get that person’s input on a project or someone may ask for it and it is sent without regard to whether that is actually appropriate. These days, office-based jobs are extremely document heavy and many people simply do not realize that there is some information that should not be shared with just anyone.
In order to circumvent the potential issues that indiscriminate document sharing will inevitably create, companies must ensure that one person oversees its document retention and management strategy. When using an online data storage solution, the company can designate an administrator to oversee the account. This person can monitor activity in the data room, and more importantly, assign and restrict access to documents with the use of permissions-based roles. This ensures that only pre-approved individuals are able to access certain data and prevents employees from sharing something they should not be sharing.
People do not always pay attention and sometimes they make mistakes
Everyone knows that humans are far from perfect. A company can craft a perfect security plan, diligently train employees, consistently monitor for compliance, and do basically everything imaginable to protect data, but mistakes can still happen. Someone may walk away from a computer and inadvertently leave up a document that is supposed to be confidential or log into a secure system on a public device. In these instances, another person could easily walk by or log in afterwards and see something that was not intended for public consumption.
Once again, this is where a security-oriented data solution is ideal, especially one that has automatic time-outs that log a user off after a certain amount of inactivity. Privacy blind is also useful so that if someone is approached from behind s/he can quickly click a button and hide the item from that person’s view.
As you can see from this list, it is not necessarily technology that creates the potential for a security lapse, but rather, the people that operate the systems utilized. Fortunately, forward thinking data storage providers design purpose-built solutions with advanced security features that compensate for these potential errors.