Best Practices for Securing Internal Data Breaches

In today’s business world it is hard to stay ahead of data security threats, and it is even harder when these threats come from internal sources.

Shockingly, your employees can be your biggest security threat. The reason is simple, they have access to your organization’s most sensitive information which they handle on a day to day basis, and with that there comes great responsibility. Whether the threat is caused by human error or a disgruntled employee, organizations need to be aware and take preventative measures to secure their sensitive data. As in many cases these employees do not have the right training to properly handle this valuable data, resulting in sensitive data being exposed.

An organization needs to incorporate internal processes when dealing with high risk data. Below is a list of best practices that an organization can take to protect themselves:

  1. Perform an audit

    First and foremost you need to identify what data you have, where it’s stored, and what levels of security are required to keep this data out of the wrong hands. Also look for any security vulnerabilities that you may have, so you can take the correct actions to seal those gaping security holes.

  2. Encrypt all data

    Once identified it is important that all data is encrypted whether at rest or in transit. Employees in a lot of cases work remotely, it is important to always encrypt all commonly used devices under one administrative framework, this way encryption can be applied and verified from the top level to the lowest level.

  3. Have a BYOD Policy in place

    These days it is common for employees to bring their own devices to use at work. The information these devices contain need to be handled as part of the best practices and security policies in force within the enterprise, so that they don’t become a source of data breaches or security leaks.

  4. Limit Access

    Access to sensitive data should be limited and treated very carefully. Only give access to employees that work directly with the data. The less people that have access the better chance of ensuring the data is not mishandled.

  5. Sweep Your Devices

    It is just as important to delete the data that you are no longer using. So make sure you are regularly sweeping your devices for data that is no longer in use and removing it from all your devices.

  6. Software Updates

    Hackers are constantly trying to find flaws in software to take control of your device and steal sensitive data. Software publishers are always fixing the gaps that cybercriminals have found and create new patches of updates to make your system more secure. It is important to update your security software regularly as it is fundamental for protecting against threats and vulnerabilities.

  7. Train Employees

    Most important employees need to be properly trained on application of the policies that are put in place, and understand that they are accountable. Human error is the easiest way to a potential data breach, so having regular training sessions on how to properly handle data will prevent a lot of human error that can cost the organization a lot of money.

For more on how to properly secure your most sensitive data, read our whitepaper on the Five Pillars of Transparent Data Security.

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