How to protect staff data when staff leave: Every day companies are at risk of business data loss

Staff members that are retrenched, fired or somehow disgruntled with the organization are proving to be more than a headache, as recently proven when Boxing South Africa officials alleged that the organization’s former CEO “wiped valuable information from their computers.”

This is by no means a new phenomenon or an isolated incident.

In fact, research conducted by IT security firm, Cyber-Ark Software Inc, indicates that:

  • 58% of Wall Street workers say they have already taken company data.
  • 71% said they will take data if faced with the prospect of retrenchment.

The same can be said for South Africa where companies have been, and still are, forced to retrench staff on all levels in order to better cope with a challenging economic climate.

The question is: How do companies and organizations keep themselves, and their data, safe from rogue employees, sometimes even senior ranking individuals such as CEOs?

Here are the 5 Golden Rules to Protecting Staff Data every company should follow:

1. You must have Local Disc Encryption: Products like Safeboot, PGP and open source options like TrueCrypt encrypts the data on an individual’s notebook or desktop, in addition to the data being backed up and encrypted by an effective data backup and recovery software solution.

IT can preempt an employee removing information by changing the password settings to decrypt the data.

2. Protect the right data: Choose backup and recovery software that allows you to decide what kind of data, from which users, should be backed up and protected. You do not need music, movies and photos taking up your storage space.

3. Make sure your backed-up data is also encrypted: The backup and recovery solution you use should automatically encrypt your data. This is an especially important feature when it comes to compliance and data breach notifications. Anyone with IT access can always access data stored on the server.

4. Split Management and Data Access: A centrally managed system, accessible by only very specific individuals, is the way to go and safeguards the company against possible action from even the most senior executives.

5. Asset tracking and remote data destruction is not enough. This has more to do with your hardware being taken but employees have been known to disappear with company notebooks before.

Products like Net Trace allow for asset tracking and remote deletion of the information – but then the data is lost forever. If the data is backed up you can go ahead, click that button and make a very nice doorstop out of that shiny notebook.

The Bottom line?

Any businesses or organization runs the risk of data loss through various means. More often than not the risk comes from within. Protecting staff data is a vital enterprise data security imperative. Protect your data from anything – and anyone, by installing an effective data backup and recovery solution for the desktops and notebooks in your company.

The next Knock Out punch should be yours to give.

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