Foresight – Must-Do’s for Data Security

Posted on January 18, 2012 by djb | Posted in Highlights

Must-Do’s for Data Security

Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is designed to protect the personal information of individuals from exploitation or dissemination by companies that collect personal data in the course of doing business. Companies have been working within the boundaries of PIPEDA for many years now, and many of the protection strategies are second nature.

However, personal information is not the only type of data that companies need to protect. Almost every business has records, customer data, intellectual property, HR files, financial records and other information that’s proprietary, valuable — and dangerous to your business if it lands in the wrong hands.

To protect your company, be sure to:

Secure your network. Antivirus and antispyware programs are only effective if they’re updated. Be sure to install software updates as soon as they are issued to take advantage of any security fixes included.

Limit access to data. All employees do not need access to all systems. For example, there’s no reason for anyone outside the finance or accounting department to have access to the company’s financial data. Only those in R&D should be able to reach research-related information. Creating limited access passwords and network segregation reduces the likelihood that an insider will inadvertently create a security problem.

Educate your employees. Cybercrime experts refer to data security as a “team sport,” so spend time training your team on good security practices. For example, individuals are generally aware that they shouldn’t give out their personal information in response to an email, but they may not think about the risks of sharing sensitive business information.

Sometimes it’s difficult to identify your own weak spots. Investing in an annual security review may be helpful. An outside expert can also educate you and your colleagues about the latest threats and best data security practices.

Take steps now to guard your business data. We can help you identify ways to protect your company from cybercrime.