Employees and Data Theft
As the working world becomes further entrenched in big data, and with employees’ enjoying unparalleled levels of access, data theft has become a reality that all businesses must face and be prepared for. Citing Biscom’s recent research, Entrepreneur magazine state that 85% of employees admitted to taking company documents and information they had created when leaving, and 35% of employees took customer data, including names, numbers and email addresses. With this in mind, we’ve looked at how businesses can minimise the risk of employee data theft, from simple training to advanced solutions.
1. Employee Policies
As data theft from employees leaving has increased over the last 20 years, one thing has become clear. Companies must have policies in place to stop employees taking company information when they leave. The policies must be explicit in nature and employees made aware upon taking a position. Many companies do not have a policy in place, and then when data theft happens, it’s too late. The key point to highlight – any documents, data or information created by the employee are company property.
Training has always been a key way to ensure employee retention, but also to reinforce key behaviours that promote secure business practices. Use training as an opportunity to minimise the threat of data theft by highlighting the seriousness of the crime, how easy it is to track with software and the damage caused to the company and fellow employees. A proactive approach is better than a snap reaction.
3. Be aware of access
As organisations grow, use more cloud-based facilities and keep more data in tools and software, ensuring that the correct permissions are given out to employees can ensure that a certain level of security remains. Use cloud-based systems to monitor the access employees have, and change passwords systematically, then again when employees leave. Simple tasks can make a huge difference to data security.
4. Understand and track anomalies
We are moving towards some of the technological solutions available here, but there are plenty of ways for companies to monitor their data and be alerted when anything out of the ordinary happens. For example, senior staff or IT teams can be alerted when a large file is sent from a company device at midnight on a Saturday. Monitoring these anomalies will help to ensure that data is tracked and information is only being used in authorised ways.
5. Monitor employees
If you are concerned about data theft and have taken other steps to prevent the problem, monitoring employee’s activity can be a way to identify potential data breaches before they occur. If an organisation is acting within the law, technologies to monitor emails, phones and use of equipment can dramatically help to ensure that data is kept within the organisation.
With all of these solutions, its key to ensure that the right options are in place for the situation. Monitoring employees’ activities without any prior problems may not be a suitable course of action, when a training course would help to reiterate the need for security. If you would like to speak to us about data theft and the IT security you need to prevent it, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org