Since one of the biggest challenges to contemporary enterprises is cybercrime, cybersecurity is inevitably rising in importance among company leaders around the world.
Why is clear to see. Businesses that engage in cybercrime may suffer severe losses, notably financially. In fact, it is predicted in Statista report that the cost of cybercrime worldwide would increase from $8.44 trillion in 2022 to $23.84 trillion in 2027.
Businesses are required to secure the mountains of data they regularly acquire and retain. However, not just client data needs to be protected. Employee information is highly private.
Private data like contact information, social security numbers, bank account information, medical histories, background checks, and others are frequently stored by businesses.
Employees may become subject to identity theft, bank fraud, phishing scams, and even reputational risks because of data breaches.
So how can companies safeguard the personal information of their workforce? Here are 9 surefire strategies to keep your employee’s information private.
Develop Clear Privacy Policies
Process simplification: The company can base its whole privacy culture on these precisely stated policies. The rules are understood by everyone in the organization, and systems are set up to abide by them.
Implement Access Controls and Authorization
Consider who ought to have access to what. You can decide what level of access an employee needs to protect information based on their job description and level of trust inside the organization. MSP’s and RMM software providing industry can provide with good examples here.
For instance, a customer service agent does not require high-level access to employee financial information, but an accountant must.
Access controls are included on most devices and business applications, making it simple to configure which resources an employee can and cannot access. Maintaining an access log with access controls is an excellent approach to keep track of both employee and outsider access to your systems.
Removing access from areas where it is not required is also essential. An employee’s access should be reviewed and, if necessary, removed if their access levels change, such as when they leave the firm or transfer to a different department.
Ensure Data Security
It’s wise to strive for SOC2 compliance (System and Organization Controls) as a data security standard. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants created the SOC2 voluntary compliance standard for data security to establish a uniform standard for commercial data protection. To ensure that your safety and compliance are as strong as possible, watch out for SOC2 certified software.
Businesses retain enormous amounts of data—often hundreds of gigabytes or more. Don’t leave yourself exposed to data breaches by storing your data improperly.
Many businesses use third-party cloud-based services to store their data off-site. Others employ in-house servers to store their data. And since data storage can be expensive, it can be tempting to employ less-than-stellar methods.
Always do your research before choosing a cloud storage provider. Are they trustworthy? Do they have favorable reviews? Is their compliance and security up to par?
Are your servers properly maintained by experts if you internally store data? Are you knowledgeable about the most recent storage laws?
Every gadget needs a reliable antivirus program. Look into which is finest for your requirements.
Monitor and Manage Third-Party Access
Many companies collaborate with other parties. Businesses frequently contract out everything from payroll software for the hospitality industry to accounting and communications, as well as, as we covered above, storage solutions.
Although these alliances may be very advantageous to your business, they also increase the risk to data. Therefore, any outside parties should be carefully screened before being given access to your systems. Before doing business with a company, conduct some due diligence on it by reading internet reviews, consulting other experts in the field, and demanding to see their privacy statement.
Once they have access, be sure to use access controls to strictly regulate and keep an eye on it.
Employee Training and Awareness
Human error is the cause of many data breaches. Cybercriminals of today are skilled at manipulating people’s psyche to coerce them into disclosing personal information. “Social engineering” is the term used to describe this tactic, which can have disastrous effects on both people and businesses.
Phishing schemes, for instance, frequently entail sending a victim a text or email that has a very official appearance and asks them to click a link. Once they’ve done that, a cybercriminal can access private data by stealing that person’s login details.
Considering this, it’s essential to provide staff with cybersecurity training that focuses on data security and compliance topics so they can better protect themselves.
Using Passwords Training
Employees should receive training on appropriate password usage, which should include the following:
- Using multiple passwords for many accounts.
- Consisting of a combination of symbols, numerals, and capital and lowercase letters.
- Employing trustworthy password managers.
- Updating passwords frequently.
- If possible, implementing two-factor authentication.
Especially if you have a hybrid work environment, employees frequently use several devices. For instance, somebody might have a home laptop, a personal phone, a work PC, and a business tablet. Modern remote working solutions now provide convenient ways to access work systems while on the go from any device.
Making sure all these gadgets are secure might be challenging. By restricting employees’ access to personal devices or forcing them to install security software on their own devices, businesses can reduce hazards.
Securing Remote Working
Remote working creates many security issues, much as an excess of devices.
When an employee works from home, they frequently access corporate systems via a home computer. The data an employee accesses may be compromised if their device, home WiFi, or working space are not secure.
Antivirus software, secure remote access, and strong password procedures are all helpful security precautions. Businesses should think about giving staff members personal work devices to use at home and limiting access to company systems from those devices.
Cybersecurity risks can be significantly reduced by just raising awareness among employees about frauds, security concerns, and safe internet habits.
Your organization should make regular training and reminders to all employees about the most recent safety issues a usual practice.
Legal compliance and best practices
It makes sense that if you were determining how to designate non-exempt vs. exempt personnel, you would check the criteria and make sure you comply with local labor laws. The same ought to be true in terms of privacy.
Keep in mind that every nation has its own data compliance regulations, and some of them differ for each of their various provinces. For instance, state-specific laws exist in the US.
Employee privacy regulations can also differ and alter. Even though the local rules governing employee privacy are lax, it could be a good idea to implement a strict policy for the comfort of your staff. Employee happiness increases productivity, and a big factor in that is feeling safe at work.
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Many firms have a moral and legal obligation to protect the privacy of their employees. Your staff members need to know that their personal information is secure and that they are entitled to their privacy.
Large-scale consequences for businesses can result from data breaches. The repercussions of unprotected data, though, are more intimate for employees. Nobody wants someone who intends to harm them to have access to their personal financial or medical information.
You can keep informed about cybersecurity dangers, defend your company from attacks, and offer your employees the peace of mind they deserve by considering these tried-and-true methods for protecting employee privacy.
Fazal Hussain is a digital marketer working in the field since 2015. He has worked in different niches of digital marketing, be it SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, PPC, or content marketing. He loves writing about industry trends in technology and entrepreneurship, evaluating them from the different perspectives of industry leaders in the niches. In his leisure time, he loves to hang out with friends, watch movies, and explore new places.