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What’s the biggest threat to your sensitive business data? Hackers? Software glitches? 

Surprisingly, human error is the biggest threat to your data.

What can your organisation do to reduce or eliminate data breaches caused by human error? Fortunately, there are many things you can begin doing right away to prevent human error from sabotaging your sensitive data. The following tips can be instituted as organisation-wide policies, and most of them don’t require additional resources or expenditures.


Train Your Employees about Data Security

Many employees are simply unaware of the dangers of data security breaches. In the midst of their busy work days, they don’t think about the risks they incur if they dispose of devices without first wiping the data or if they leave sensitive documents at the printer. 

Data security training should be an important element of your employee inductions and also revisit the topic during your periodic training meetings. The reason periodic training is so important is that data security is constantly evolving. New threats manifest themselves on a regular basis, so your training will need to be updated often.


Keep Track of Portable Storage

More and more businesses are using mobile devices for day-to-day operations. Whether your employees use laptops, mobile devices like smartphones, or portable storage devices like hard drives and USBs, your data is at risk when it’s out and about. 


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You can take action against this risk by implementing encryption on all of your mobile devices that hold sensitive data.


Use the Least-Privilege Principle

The idea behind the least-privilege principle is simple. Users should only be granted access to information that is necessary for their job function. Additionally, their access should be granted only for the time in which they need it.

In other words, don’t give employees access to sensitive data unless they absolutely need it in order to do their jobs effectively. With fewer people seeing your sensitive information, you’re much less likely to experience data breaches.


Simulate Phishing Breaches

One of the most common attacks on businesses today is the phishing attack. Your employees need to be trained on how to identify and avoid phishing messages. Your data security training will be improved by using a program that simulates phishing attacks so your employees can practice identifying and resisting them. 

Again, as with the previous tips, it’s helpful to introduce this training during your very first induction with new employees. Follow up your initial training with periodic training to keep the information fresh and to introduce new information about recent developments.


Secure Your Passwords

Sharing passwords and leaving written passwords within easy reach of the computer are common problems that lead to data security breaches. 

Train your employees to use unique passwords and regularly change them. Remember that repetition is the mother of all learning. Don’t explain password etiquette just once to your employees and expect them to always remember it. Since passwords are omnipresent in our technological society today, people get used to taking shortcuts and trying to skirt the obligations associated with passwords. Review password etiquette in periodic trainings in order to protect your sensitive data.


Become Compliant With ISO 27001

Compliance with the ISO 27001 standard for Information Security Management Systems is recommended for all businesses to protect their company data. According to the Compliance Council, “the advancement of information systems and services over recent decades drives for the need to implement adequate security controls in order to identify, manage and protect valuable corporate data and information from security threats and risks.” 

An information security management system compliant with ISO 27001 will include the many of the controls outlined above.


Use Management Software

You can also secure your organisation’s data security by using state-of-the-art management software for governance, risk management, and people management. With all of your employees’, volunteers’, and contractors’ information in one place, you can more effectively keep their information secure. 

Likewise, you can keep your governance and risk management information in one simple location, away from prying eyes and hackers’ reach. For more information about our software, get your free trial or contact us at Vault.


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