Could Your Office Garbage Can Ruin Your Business?
Protecting Your Company – How Safe Is Your Information?
You’ve seen the news stories about companies losing thousands of clients personal information – email logins, passwords, etc. For example, the Yahoo hack that’s been going on for the past several years. This happened when someone hacked their information system and was then able to gain access to sensitive, personal information. They are working to protect their clients but it has been a huge issue for those in the Yahoo mail world.
Consider your business or company. Your company’s life blood is the clients you serve and the information your servers, and your employees, have access to. How secure is your information? How secure is your client’s information or your recipes/methods for doing business, etc.? These are all facets of your company that you should know are secure and that you can pinpoint the loopholes where information is potentially vulnerable. Take a few minutes to learn what can happen to your company without proper safety measures, and learn how you can help prevent disaster such as the recent hacks.
Consider this example for a few moments. You have a very technical savvy person in your office that has become disgruntled because of something that has gone on in the workplace. Perhaps they were disciplined for something that was done or maybe they didn’t get the bonus they feltthey should have received. Either way, they are upset with the company and want to get even.
Did you know that a tech savvy employee and a USB thumb drive could totally devastate your business? All it takes is for them to download personal client information on to the drive and they walk out with everything that makes your business what it is. That could be a huge client breach and cost you large amounts of money if the information is leaked or even given to your competitors.
If your security systems in place are not what they should be, your employees that know how to work around the firewalls could also find out personal information from other employees. They may locate the personnel files of your employees, find out their salary or their personal information. Your employee could have information to others social security numbers, date of birth, address, and other confidential information. This could lead to identity theft starting right in your own company.
Another area that would be vulnerable is your company’s confidential information such as formulas used for your products, recipes, or even the data on upcoming patents your company is trying to receive. This could cause someone else to use your information before you can and thus take your company down. All of this is scary to consider but it is something that you as the owner or president of your company have to think about.
Ways to Protect Your Company and Your Clients
There are several ways you can consider to help prevent this from happening to your company, clients, or employees. Consider your security measures in place. Do you have a written protocol that every employee is to follow with confidential data? What about the notes they write while on phone calls that may contain personal information? What is the process for handling files and papers that are no longer needed but have vital information? How old is the plan you have in place?
By having a plan set in place, all employees updated on procedures, and tackling the vulnerable spots below, you can help to protect everyone in your company and reduce the security risks.
Here are a few spots you need to consider when updating your security plan:
- Trash cans – Each trash can in your office is a hole where information can be seeped from. The employees in your company need to know what is okay to throw in the trashcans and what needs to be shredded or disposed of differently. Be sure that everyone is informed on the procedures and check to make sure they are being followed routinely.
- Dumpsters – If your employees are not following the safety and security protocols in place, this is a high point of vulnerability. Dumpster divers can go through your trash at night or on weekends and find out vital information from your clients or even yourself. They can find passwords, scraps of personal data, and even client information that should never have been thrown away.
- USB Ports – Your computer systems have USB ports and this is a very vulnerable location. The information can be downloaded and taken out of the office, or someone could upload a virus into the system itself. This is an area where protection is a must.
Becoming aware of these security holes can help you to better safeguard your office. While you’d like to believe your employees are all honest, in reality it is not true. Some employees can become disgruntled or feel as if they sell off the information they can get the money they feel they deserve.
Be sure to go over your safety protocols on a regular basis and ensure they are being followed. Talk with your employees on a scheduled basis to make sure that any questions are covered and that everyone is on the same page. Routinely update your protocols with better options as they become available and make sure that every desk area has a shred box nearby to keep those valuable pieces of materials protected.
Evaluate the risks your office has and work on a plan that fits your business needs. While you can’t stop all fraud activity that may take place, you can put in preventative measures to reduce the risks and stop as much as possible.
Contact us today to book a time for a free consultation and let us show you how we can save you time, money, and labor.