Having the proper information management practices can make the difference between your organization’s success and failure. In an increasingly digital world, your clients are counting on you to protect their data and your infrastructure so you can provide the services they pay you for.
Here are five things you should know about organizational security to keep your company and clients safe.
Access Control Policies Matter
Does your organization handle sensitive information? If you work in healthcare or education, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) likely govern your actions.
Even if you’re not working with healthcare and educational information, you may still handle information that requires additional protection. For example, consider social security, bank account, or credit card numbers. Not everyone in your organization needs access to that information.
There are too many commonly used acronyms in the tech industry to explain now, but you will see one again and again as you work toward greater organizational security. When you first start researching access control policies, you might find yourself asking, “what is PKI?”
PKI stands for public key infrastructure. It’s a technology you can use to authenticate users, ensuring that only authorized parties access sensitive information.
An access control policy keeps sensitive data secure. Researching examples of access control policies can help you develop one that works for your organization.
Everyone Has a Part in Preventing Security Issues
Depending on the size of your organization, you may have anywhere from one individual to an entire team devoted to security. They work hard to protect your organization, but the onus of the task doesn’t lie solely on them.
Every employee has a part in preventing security issues, from using secure passwords to educating themselves about and avoiding phishing attempts. An organization’s personnel are what can make it truly exceptional. When everyone works together, an organization can achieve more both in terms of security and general success.
When building your company culture, a focus on security, responsibility and understanding. Mistakes happen, and the sooner you or your IT department can correct them, the better. Removing the sense of shame that typically surrounds falling for a phishing scam or downloading a virus will make employees more likely to come forward if they realize something is wrong.
You Should Have an Acceptable Use Policy
An acceptable use policy dictates how employees can use your organization’s information technology assets ranging from hardware to software to the WiFi network.
It isn’t reasonable to expect that an employee will spend 100 percent of their time working. No one is built to spend eight or nine hours a day focused on a single task. People will take breaks to check their personal email or social media accounts, and that’s alright.
As far as brief distractions go, those are both reasonably harmless. If an employee choose to illegally stream a TV show or download music from a questionable website, however, they could unwittingly expose your organization to malware or legal issues.
When you have employees sign an acceptable use policy, you’re creating a contract. When they sign it, they agree to follow the rules it lays out. Violating the policy is grounds for termination and can protect your company from liability issues.
Regular Training Doesn’t Have To Be Boring
Outside specific industries, most people don’t receive the training they need to adequately protect the information with which they work. Additional training on recognizing phishing emails, choosing secure passwords, and other pieces of a comprehensive organizational security policy are essential.
Unfortunately, no one particularly wants to spend time reviewing tedious paperwork. As a result, training often has to be mandated to ensure it happens, which many people see as a waste of time. Sometimes, they’re right, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Think about the last time you sat in a darkened room with a few dozen of your colleagues, viewing a PowerPoint presentation on one policy or another. How much of the training did you absorb?
Gamifying training isn’t just trendy. It’s effective. It generates engagement among employees, leading to everyone using their time in a more helpful manner.
Backups Are a Necessity
In 2020, there were 304 million ransomware attacks worldwide. In a ransomware attack, a malicious individual or party either blocks access to data or threatens to publish it unless the organization or individual pays a ransom for it.
When a ransomware attack happens to an individual, it can be devastating. Without a backup of your data, you can lose critical documents or pictures with sentimental value.
A ransomware attack can be equally devastating on a much larger scale when it occurs in an organization. Your entire company may shut down until it’s over, and you won’t be able to provide your clients with the services they need.
If a ransomware attack hits you, how likely are you to recover your data? In 2020, 67 percent of the victims did. Fifty-eight percent of all victims paid the ransom.
Being hit with a ransomware attack is still inconvenient when you have a secure backup. It’s not as devastating as it could be, however. You can quickly restore operations without losing much time or any data.
Backups have the added benefit of protecting against data deletion, corruption, and other accidents, which is invaluable.