As a business owner, you must consider how you handle the confidential data that are dealt with by your team.
Ensuring that sensitive information is well-protected is essential for your company’s compliance with regulations, its reputation among customers, and its competitiveness in a hotly contested market.
Here are some crucial strategies to weigh up so that you can make sure your workplace remains secure, and that any confidential data is dealt with efficiently and appropriately.
Assess Access Control
When it comes to handling confidential data, access control is key. Make sure that only authorized personnel can access sensitive information, and that they only have access to what they need for their role.
It’s also necessary to regularly review who has access and to revoke this access when an employee leaves the company or changes roles. This will limit the likelihood of improper access to confidential data being perpetuated, along with the chance of malicious misuse occurring.
Explore Confidential Waste Disposal Options
It’s a good idea not to underestimate the relevance of proper disposal of paper documents and digital devices that contain customer or employee personal information, such as social security numbers or bank details.
Consider using specialist companies that provide secure waste disposal services to ensure that any hard copies are destroyed in a safe, comprehensive manner.
This will help protect your customers from identity theft, and avoid your business being subjected to legal action. Of course, even with such precautions in place, it’s still sensible to have sufficient insurance when running an organization.
Use Specialist Technology, e.g EHR Software For Personal Health Records
For businesses working with medical health records, such as hospitals or local clinics, specialist technology must be used when handling patient data.
Electronic Health Record (EHR) software offers up an additional layer of protection over manual record-keeping systems by providing controlled user access via passwords & audit trails. In turn, this infrastructure must be monitored regularly by IT personnel within organizations dealing with medical records to ensure everything is on an even keel.
Furthermore, this technology is essential if you wish to remain compliant with GDPR & HIPAA regulations regarding patient privacy, while also providing fast & efficient service delivery timescales within healthcare environments.
The right software is suited to all sorts of healthcare scenarios. You can use EHR for mental health programs, as well as for the everyday operations of a physician’s office, for instance.
Think About Physical Security
Physical security measures are also important when it comes to protecting confidential data. Make sure that all devices containing confidential information are locked away securely and that the workplace is fitted with appropriate locks and alarms.
You should also consider using security cameras and other surveillance devices, depending on the type of sensitive data you’re handling.
Keep On Top Of Employee Training
It should go without saying, but you need to take steps to bring your staff up to speed with how to handle sensitive information properly.
This can be achieved by providing regular training sessions and refresher courses, as well as by reinforcing the protocols that they are expected to follow in case of a data breach or cyber attack.
This is doubly relevant if you have employees who work remotely, or who have contact with customers who may not be aware of best practices when it comes to sharing personal details over the phone or via email.
Stick To Industry Standards & Regulations
Finally, build up a familiarity with any industry standards and regulations related to handling confidential data in your workplace – such as GDPR for businesses based in Europe.
Even if you are located elsewhere in the world, you may still need to meet requirements for data privacy set elsewhere, so you can’t afford to take chances in this context if you want to court an international customer base.
Also, be aware that you must comply with these rules at all times, not just to keep customers happy and preserve your reputation, but also to steer clear of any potential legal action that might come about as a result of non-compliance.
The Bottom Line
No matter which industry you occupy, it pays to be proactive about protecting confidential data. There are tighter restrictions and tougher punishments for companies in certain sectors, such as healthcare and finance, but even if you operate in a different context, that’s no excuse for any sloppiness.
Effort and investment will be needed to defend against data security dilemmas, but the end result will make this worth it.