The importance of information security in the workplace cannot be denied. As a result, companies must focus on embedding security into every process and practice. Data breaches of any type should be avoided at all costs. Do not make it easy to lose data or simple for cyber-criminals to find the weakest link in your organisation systems.

Irrespective of the IT solutions you may put in place, one of the best ways for companies to protect themselves is to build and encourage a strong culture of information security. It is often ‘people’ who are the weakest link in the security chain. Below are a few steps to help you build this philosophy of security and help you protect your organisation and the personal and business information it holds.

Approach Security with Equality

Shape your company’s values and ethos. Remember that without the guidance and governance of your managers and employees, it is impossible to implement an effective culture of security.

Company executives and management teams should practice what they preach and show they adhere also to best practices. Motivate team members to initiate security practices and then lead by example, by establishing and following the security protocols they implement.

Procedures and Policies

Standard security procedures and policies should be clearly defined and documented. These should be followed by everyone working in your organisation; management, team members, contractors and suppliers, all should clearly understand and adhere to these policies.

Policies should precisely explain employee access to systems and information. Establishing and embedding these rules in your business will provide a foundation for a sustainable culture to protect business and personal information.

Security Training and Awareness

Consistently review current security processes to understand risks of breach and identify areas where improvement is needed. This is especially important ensuring compliance with any security systems or data protection regulations like the GDPR. Test your systems on a regular basis, you would be amazed at the number of smaller companies that do not even know if and how they can restore data they back up!

Provide training and awareness programs for your employees. Help your staff understand why these policies are put in place and help them to help you identify risks. Companies that build environments where people can freely discuss data security creates a culture where internal threats can be minimised.

Remote Working

The increasing number of remote workers can put a serious strain on data security and makes the requirement for an efficient culture of confidentiality more important. Remote workers may require access to sensitive business documents and communications. It is therefore important to scrutinise remote working procedures and the systems that are used to exchange documents and data.

Providing reliable and secure lines of communication between external and internal staff will also help reduce the risks that remote working brings. It is important that there are specific processes in place and that these provide an audit trial should the need ever arise.

Finally, always remember, if any of your employees, your suppliers or remote workers find it is difficult to use the systems or follow procedures, invariably it is human nature to find an alternative way! These alternatives may pose risks! So carefully consider every aspect of your security technology and procedures, and make it easy to be protect your business documents and information.