The majority of information security experts agree that having your business information compromised isn't a matter of “if,” but a matter of “when.” Unfortunately, when it comes to records and data security, most small business owners don't know where to begin. Here are five keys to protecting your business information:
The first key to protecting your business information is verifying what data you have—and knowing where it's stored. Find the paper documents, computers, laptops and servers that contain sensitive employee, customer and financial data. Then assess the physical security of—and accessibility to—these records and devices.
Consolidation is the second key to protecting your business information. The more your information is spread across your organization, the greater its risk of being compromised. Protect confidential digital data by storing it centrally, on one server. Back up the server regularly. Then rotate your backup media to and from a secure, offsite media vault. Tapes and hard drives are best archived in a purpose-built media vault designed for the long-term protection and preservation of digital media.
Consolidate your hardcopy records inventory by getting rid of duplicate copies of sensitive documents. A one-time file purge service offers a cost-effective, efficient and secure solution for destroying redundant paper files. After having documents you don't need securely destroyed, consolidate and store your records with an off-site records storage service. Prior to transferring your documents to a commercial records centre for secure storage, records management professionals will organize and index your inventory so your files are accessible and easily retrievable at a later date.
When your employees are your organization’s first line of defense against a data breach, the next key to protecting your business information is education. Teach your staff how to handle confidential information properly, and to recognize threats that may put customer and financial data at risk. Use regular training sessions that discuss privacy protection strategies, highlight information security policies, and address threat concerns.
Whether it's controlling file room access, verifying network security, or ensuring employee compliance with data handling policies, digital and credit monitoring is also a key to protecting your business information. Besides using software to monitor malicious threats to your computer systems, regularly check your business credit report for signs of fraud. Your media rotation and records management provider automatically monitors your data and documents for you with barcode tracking technology that keeps a comprehensive audit trail of activity for your inventory.
The last key to protecting your business information is reviewing your strategies to ensure effectiveness and efficiency. Threats and risks constantly evolve, and your business' information storage, access and distribution needs also change. Audit your processes to make sure they meet your current and future requirements, and revise policies to address weaknesses and ensure ongoing progress.
By implementing the strategies we've provided here, you can keep your business information secure and accessible at the same time.
Docu-Dépôt provides information management services for businesses in Montréal and throughout Québec. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.
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