When us Brits talk about spring cleaning, we’re usually referring to sorting out our homes. But, actually, there’s good argument for having a spring clean in our work lives too. And it all centres around security.
According to the 2018 Cyber Security Breaches Survey, 43% of businesses reported cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months – and this isn’t the only avenue fraudsters can use to get your data. So, it’s more important than ever to protect that data and keep it secure. With that in mind, it’s time to grab your metaphorical feather duster and get cleaning…
1. Declutter those desks
This one may seem obvious, but, time and time again, paper documents, post-it notes with passwords and USBs (as well as much more) are left out on desks. For a fraudster, this is the equivalent to being a kid in a candy store. So, to get you on your way to a more secure workplace, start off by implementing a Clean Desk Policy, requiring employees to clear their desks at the end of the day, and when they’re away from them.
2. Implement a great storage system
Every business has confidential data, whether it’s employee, client or company information – or, more likely, a mix of all three. UK laws also stipulate that businesses must retain this data for set periods of time. Which basically means most businesses will have a lot of confidential information to protect. To do this, we’d recommend implementing a company-wide document-retention policy and storage system, with clear instructions explaining what to keep and for how long. Then, limit access to these confidential documents, by only giving responsibility to set members of staff, rather than everyone.
3. Dispose of confidential waste securely
Once you’re ready to throw confidential data away, it’s really important you dispose of it correctly. If thrown in a recycling or general waste bin, the confidential waste will not have a secure route to destruction, and will be open to data breaches. So, think about what’s being thrown away where, and make sure employees know what’s considered confidential and where this type of waste should go. It’s often useful to partner up with a waste management company to put a secure system in place, so if you do want a helping hand, just give us a shout (this is our area of expertise!).
4. Think wider than the office
So far, we’ve talked about protecting your company’s data in the office, but, if you’ve got employees who work from home or are out and about in the day, your spring clean needs to extend to the outside world as well. Make sure that all electronic devices, both in and out of the office, are encrypted and password-protected, and remind staff to be aware of surroundings and to avoid confidential information being visible to others.
We hope you found the spring clean helpful and are now ready to put some of these tips into practice (if you’re not doing them already!). With the GDPR regulations in place now as well, it’s more important than ever to make sure your confidential data is handled securely. For your own peace of mind, it’s well worth investing some time and effort into putting good systems and policies in place for this. Luckily, you are not alone – we are here to help if you want some advice and guidance along the way. Just give us a call on 01242 588600 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll start you on your way to a more secure future.