Why is information security important?
Implementation of information security in the workplace presupposes that a company takes measures to protect its data. For the majority of companies information is their biggest value.
Whether we are talking about storing customers’ credit history or social security numbers, drawings of your company’s products, patent applications or unique designs, financial records or a customer list that includes confidential information – all of the above constitute data that needs to be protected. An attack on your data might result in cases of identity theft, leakage of confidential information and huge financial losses.
Therefore, every company should implement information security in the workplace to mitigate the risk of data loss or leakage.
Elements of information security program
Now that we have established, why information security is important, let us have a look at what needs to be done to set up information security in the workplace.
Risk management is the first thing that needs to be done. In other words, you should assess what risks your company might face and take measures to prevent them.
Some of the possible risks include:
· Physical loss of data that could happen for a number of reasons from power loss to flooding.
· Unauthorized access to data (whether it is your internal confidential data or information pertaining to your clients).The reason for that could be a hacker attack. Unfortunately, cases of insider threat are also common. While in the first scenario you have to protect against malware infection, adopt a strong password policy, etc., to prevent an insider attack you need to limit access control and enhance security measures, emphasize the importance of computer ethics in the workplace, etc.
· Interception of data in transit, i.e. when data is stolen when transmitted between two sites, between the company and its employees, etc.
· Data corruption as a result of which data is modified. An example of that could be Trojan horses or keyloggers.
Based on the risks, you should develop policies and procedures that will be communicated to the staff. We’d like to emphasize the importance of clear policies and an end user security training.
Things not to be omitted in an information security program
While information security in the workplace will differ depending on a company’s size, sphere of activity, budget and structure, every organization should take into account the following aspects that are of paramount importance to security:
· Physical security: Think of how your data can be protected from unauthorized access. Here you can think of a reliable security system, different levels of access control, entry restrictions to certain premises, etc.
· Security awareness: Make sure all employees are aware of the security policies and recognize their personal responsibility for maintaining a secure workplace. There should also be awareness of computer ethics in the workplace.
· Information Security in the Workplace: Specify how users can be identified and presupposes a strong password protection.
· Virus protection: It is of crucial importance that your network is protected against malware and viruses.
· Incident response: What steps will be taken in case of data breach or loss of data?
· Relationships with third parties: Think of which data will be exchanged between you and your contractors and clients and in which way. All sensitive files must be encrypted before they are sent over the network or stored. It is advised that special software is used to automatically encrypt files.
Now that you know why is information security important and are aware of constituents of information security, from computer ethics in the workplace to encryption, it is time to make sure that you have a set of strategies that will safeguard your information assets.