If you own a small business, you know the importance of safeguarding your data. Identity theft and fraud risks are numerous, with organizations large and small falling victim to privacy breaches on a daily basis. To devise an effective privacy protection strategy, incorporate these best practices in your plan.
Back Up Often
In small businesses with limited IT resources, it’s easy to push data backup to the bottom of the list. But without a routine backup strategy, your business may never fully recover from unexpected data loss. The following items should be backed up often:
- Business correspondence
- Proprietary software
- Client and employee records
- Financial and accounting applications
- Legal documents
All backup media should be stored in a secure, off-site location. Look for an off-site data security partner that offers media vaulting and rotation services. This enables your backup media to be immediately and securely transported to a vault built specifically for the protection and preservation of digital media.
Know Privacy Laws
Canadian privacy laws often vary from province to province. For example, Ontario, Québec, Alberta and British Columbia have their own personal information protection laws. Ontario’s Personal Health Information Act focuses on personal health information. And the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is Canada’s federal privacy protection law, and applies to all provinces. Depending on where your organization operates or services its customers, it may be subject to more than one of these laws. As a result, it’s important to understand the specifics of the privacy laws pertinent to your business.
Restrict Data Access
The more individuals who have access to sensitive information in your business, the greater the risk of that information being compromised. A professional records storage and document management service can be especially helpful with limiting access to confidential information to only authorized individuals in your organization. All file requests and retrievals are logged in a database for a full, historical log of records activity. Access levels can be customized for each user within your company for added data security.
Have a Data Security Policy
It’s important to have a written data security policy that every individual in your organization can clearly follow. Items to detail in your policy may include:
- Protocols for accessing, distributing and disposing of information
- Storage requirements for paper and digital records
- Web browsing, internet use, and bring your own device (BYOD) restrictions
Make sure your employees understand all facets of your data security policy including the consequences of failing to follow specific requirements. And remember to enforce your policy.
Train Your Employees
Your employees are the either the strongest or weakest link in your organization’s privacy protection efforts. A 2014 Forrester Research report found that 36% of breaches were caused by employee mistakes, making it the leading cause of most data breaches. So keeping your staff informed of threats and providing them with data protection strategies is one of the biggest investments you can make for your company.
Privacy protection should be at the top of your business agenda. Use the best practices we’ve provided here to safeguard your customer, employee and proprietary data at all times.
FileBank offers records and information management solutions to businesses throughout Canada. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.