Every day, businesses find themselves troubled with the problems of important information leaking into the wrong hands. In many cases this information is confidential, compromising not only the business but its clients as well. It seems that a company can not be too careful with how it safeguards information. The following are some methods a company can use to better keep confidential information away from prying eyes.
1. Lockable Filing Cabinets
Many businesses have sensitive and confidential information scattered all over the office. Key documents containing sensitive information in one or more employees desks is a security breech waiting to happen. One way to better control the flow of information around the office is to require sensitive documents to be under lock and key in durable quality filing cabinets. Thus keeping confidential information where it should be and not floating around the office haphazardly.
2. Encrypted Systems
Another key way to obscure and protect confidential information is to encrypt this information. Encrypted systems can take many different directions to throw would be hackers off the path, making it difficult or near impossible for them to read things that are not intended for them to have access to. Multiple encryption methods can make this effort even more successful than using a simple encryption standard to hide sensitive data.
3. Nondisclosure Contracts
A nondisclosure contract may not physically prevent an employee from compromising sensitive or confidential company information, but it at least gives a company legal recourse if an employee compromises a company due to confidential information leaks. This can in many ways promote employees to be more careful with company data than they would if not held legally responsible for such a data breech.
4. Patents And Copyrights
If a company is holding on to some confidential form of intellectual property, and that information gets stolen, a patent or copyright will give the company some degree of a legal basis for pursuing those who have stolen or used their intellectual property. Without such measures, it is much more difficult for a company to gain the support of the courts in their favor or even prove that the intellectual property originated with that company. Hence, potentially losing them rights to legal damages and court ruled compensation.
5. Back Up Files
Nothing can save a company from losing confidential data like having back up files. Thieves are not the only cause for alarm. A failing hard drive or other data storage system can be equally detrimental to confidential data. Backing up sensitive information on a regular basis can prevent major losses from occurring, better ensuring that a business will not suffer financial ruin due to a data crash.
6. Proper Disposal Methods
As with storing confidential data, it is equally important to take great care when it comes to discarding files containing such data. Proper shredding, bleaching, and incinerating of documents are all viable methods for completely disposing of confidential information. Once destroyed, it becomes difficult for this information to find its way into the wrong hands. It is also next to impossible to reconstruct this information as well, which is good news for a company trying to keep their confidential information from others.
No matter what methods a company takes to protect its confidential information, the reality is that more than one method is typically required to truly safeguard data from potential leaks. This is why it is important for a company to plan out how it will store, transfer, and destroy data long before it produces confidential information needing to be subjected to such rigorous concerns. Failure to have a plan in place to meet these concerns can spell disaster for a company unnecessarily, which is why it is better to be safe than sorry.
Informational credit to Carter West.