3 Data Security Vulnerabilities That Business Owners Overlook

March 2016

3 Data Security Vulnerabilities That Business Owners Overlook

Most people hear the term “data security,” and they think of cybersecurity. They think of firewalls, encryption, and other technological solutions to keep customers’ information safe and out of the hands of hackers. However, data security isn’t all online, and it really isn’t as much a technological problem as a risk management one. To illustrate this point, let’s take a look at three data security vulnerabilities that business owners overlook every day.

Paper Document Disposal

First of all, most businesses haven’t gone completely paperless yet, and that’s okay…until you neglect to properly shred and dispose of your sensitive documents. That’s right, your trash can could very quickly become a major data security vulnerability if you don’t make sure that you have the proper disposal procedures in place.

Does everything sensitive get shredded? If not, you could be looking at a breach in the very near future. Furthermore, you might want to look at your shredders to ensure that they make it too difficult for anyone to piece together your documents again. Some savvy business owners actually hire document disposal services to thoroughly destroy their sensitive physical documents to avoid breaches.

On-Site Physical Security

If you have a small business, you might not think that you need to maintain tight physical security, but you absolutely do. If you aren’t able to restrict physical access to the computers and servers that hold sensitive material, then you might as well disable your firewall right now.

This doesn’t just mean hiring a security guard or using keycards for access to your office, either. This means locking server rooms, cabinets, and other areas where you store sensitive data.

The more you can restrict access to this information physically, the better off you’ll be, and that doesn’t just mean locking doors. It also means updating passwords, ensuring that old keycards are deactivated, and encouraging employees to report it immediately if they lose a key or keycard, or if they see something amiss at the office.

Unrestricted Employee Access to Sensitive Data

Now, we know that you would love to be able to trust your employees with all of the sensitive data you collect on your customers. You would like to think that you would never hire someone who would knowingly cause a security breach, but that’s unfortunately not the case.

Think of it this way – you trust your employees, but do you give out your bank account information to them? Of course you don’t, so why would you give them your customers’ bank account information unless they specifically needed it to do their jobs? Again, restricting access is a great way to avoid a bad situation down the road.

As you can see, these three potential vulnerabilities actually have nothing to do with the Internet or digital security. They’re physical vulnerabilities that pose real threats to your customers’ data. If you want to avoid a breach and all of the damage that can come with it, you’ll pay attention to these all too often forgotten weaknesses in your system.

Sources:

http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/technology/2011/02/securing-sensitive-data-often.html?page=all

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-tools/ten-most-overlooked-security-threats-for-small-businesses/article593438/

http://yfsmagazine.com/2015/08/26/can-small-businesses-afford-to-overlook-byod-threats/

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