7 Tips to Minimize Security Risks in 2017

Posted on: December 6, 2016

Theft of physical and digital information continues to increase in the DC area, and businesses need to take every precaution to protect themselves, as well as client and company information. Regardless of the size of your organization, a security breach can cost more than just money, with irreversible damage to your reputation, loss of customers, and potential loss of your business. Here are seven expert tips to minimize security risks in the year ahead, designed to stop thieves in their tracks.

1) Password Protection

Choosing a secure password is the first line of defense against hackers and thieves. Over the last several years, financial institutions, government organizations, cloud based email providers, online retailers, and more have implemented new guidelines with regards to password selection, prompting users to choose passwords that contain at least one capital letter, one number, and one symbol. The reason for the change is a new level of sophistication with regards to hacker tools and increased computer power. Password selection criteria should include a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols in a random pattern, committed to memory rather than written down.

2) Ongoing Training & Education

Make employees aware and accountable for the security of documents and data in their care or possession with regular information updates and ongoing education.

3) Strict BYOD Policies

With the increase in usage of personal devices such as smartphones and tablets for work related tasks, implementing a stringent bring your own device (BYOD) policy is crucial to the security of your organization.  A successful policy has the following elements:

  • Identifying which devices may be used.
  • Enhanced security, including complex password protection.
  • Clearly identified boundaries regarding technical support.
  • Guidelines regarding which applications will be allowed.
  • Employee exit strategies.
  • Remote wiping capabilities.

4) Secure Document Destruction

When documents or media files such as DVDs, computer hard drives, CD-ROMs, or videotapes are no longer needed, it’s imperative that you choose a secure, permanent method of destruction. Onsite shredding services from TrueShred guarantee the safe, confidential destruction of all materials in accordance with all regulatory compliance standards. Once the work is completed, an audit trail is generated with the issuance of a Certificate of Destruction and you’re welcome to view the shredding process from closed circuit monitors for added peace of mind.

5) Create a Written Security Policy

A clear, precise, written policy leaves no room for error and identifies areas of major concern such as device usage, building and office security, personal safety, visitor policies, media and document disposal, and more. Distribute this information to all employees and include it as part of the onboarding process.

6) Keep Up to Date

IT data and systems are particularly vulnerable and measures should be taken to increase IT security, including:

  • Regular software updates.
  • Password security.
  • Data backups with offsite or remote storage capabilities.
  • Enhanced security methods for servers, computers, and networks.
  • Data encryption.
  • Secure firewalls, anti-virus, and anti-spyware for all devices and networks.

7) Plan Ahead

Regardless of how carefully you plan, security breaches can still occur. You can minimize their impact by conducting a risk assessment to identify your most vulnerable areas, and determine which security measure are in place to protect them. Next, design and implement a disaster recovery plan, notify everyone who will be involved (from IT to management), and test it out, noting any changes that need to be made.

Secure Shredding Services in the Washington, DC Area

When you need confidential document destruction in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington DC, contact TrueShred here or call 888-322-3218. You can also use our online form to request pricing. We look forward to serving your shredding needs—and keeping you in compliance!

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