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Risk Insights, Technology: Data Security Through Employee Education

Posted by ecbmadmin on Mar 12, 2014 9:00:08 PM

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Data security is of the utmost importance in the technology sector. A data breach can expose your company’s and your clients’ highly confidential information. The results can include professional liability claims, the loss of your customers' trust and negative impact on your reputation and bottom line.

One of the first lines of defense in the fight against data loss is your staff. Implementing a strong data security training program for employees can help your company retain high standards for data protection across the organization. Well-trained and managed workers are more effective than technology tools alone.

Emphasize Continuous Caution

After undergoing education and training, employees should understand that data security is a continuous and constant concern for your organization. Instead of a one-time session, data security education should be an ongoing part of the business process. Organizations can use posters, newsletters and other reminders to keep data security issues top of mind.

Be Aware of Potential Risks

Employees are very susceptible to phishing attacks, where a hacker poses as a legitimate organization such as a client, bank or your own company. Some phishing attacks ask employees to supply confidential information such as passwords or client information to a source through an email message or Web page. Others try to get employees to download attachments that launch malicious software, invading all parts of their computer and eventually working its way into the company's network. Spear-phishing attacks are targeted at a small

group of people, making it easier for the message to be customized and extremely convincing.

Company leaders should be aware of potential risks in order to effectively inform and train employees of their existence and how to prevent them from occurring.

Initiate and Enforce Policies

Even the best trained employee can make a mistake. Effective policies and procedures need to be in place to act as checks and balances for all data-related actions. This includes double checking and recording activities, allowing users or managers to see immediately if something was done incorrectly before any damage is done.

Following these policies and procedures needs to be part of the continuous security education to ensure their effectiveness.

Training employees who handle sensitive and confidential information about data security will help decrease your company’s exposure.

Worth the Investment

The cost of not taking the time to properly train employees on data security far outweighs the investment. Professional liability claims, a third-party security audit and compliance fines are just some of the potential expenses that your company could expect if a

data security incident happened in your organization.

Contact ECBM, LP for more information about managing your data security risk.

This Risk Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice. © 2011 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Topics: Technology, Policies, cyber, Insurance Coverage, Risk Management