As technology has advanced, businesses have increasingly focused on high-tech data security, protecting networks against hacking and other attacks. But if this means you’re ignoring the low-tech risks, you could be in trouble. There are many ways your data could be lost or stolen, many involving no technology at all.
One of the biggest risks to your data is also one of the oldest – the physical theft of a paper document or device. Anyone entering your facility could have the opportunity to commit this crime, so it’s critical that you take steps to prevent it:
- Lock up devices when not in use, and store confidential documents in locked filing cabinets or drawers, not on shelves or on your desk.
- Shred documents containing sensitive information before discarding them.
- Require authentication or pull-printing protocols to prevent too many documents sitting on your printer tray.
Data can also be stolen when employees take devices and documents off-site. Remind them of the importance of physically securing and protecting these items, and be sure all company computers are encrypted and password protected.
Even if a thief doesn’t take the physical item, it doesn’t mean they didn’t get ahold of your data. Using a USB drive, portable hard drive, or even their cellphone camera, they can easily take information from your devices or even your computer display. Restrict USB access and make sure all displays are turned off when not in use and require authentication to log back in.
Your data can also be lost due to other factors, such as a power surge or a fire. Your computer storage area should be climate-controlled and equipped with systems and alarms designed to protect against these risks. Even with these precautions, it’s a good idea to make back-ups of all important data and store them off-site. Your backups should be encrypted and password protected to prevent theft.
It can be easy to overlook these low-and no-tech risks to your business, when high-tech cybercrimes dominate the headlines – but the reality is your information is at risk in many different ways.