December 17, 2015

12 tips for a data secure festive season

In the run up to Christmas, it is vital you prioritise information security to ensure your business is protected against a data security breach. As employees head off for the holidays, it is important organisations review their security protocols to ensure the office is secured and confidential information remains protected whilst everyone is away.

We’ve put together a selection of 12 Christmas security tips to help you adequately prepare and ensure the festive season stays merry and bright:

  • On the first day of Christmas, make sure employees leave a clean desk behind before leaving for the holidays, ensuring any confidential information is safely secured or destroyed to stop it falling into the wrong hands.
  • On the second day of Christmas, ask employees to store away electronic devices such as laptops and mobile phones. Leaving these devices exposed on desks can lead to a potentially damaging data breach.
  • On the third day of Christmas, remind staff working from home over the festive period how to dispose of office-related documents. While the recycling bin is perfect for unwanted wrapping paper, it is not the right place for information pertaining to your business.
  • On the fourth day of Christmas, many businesses hire contractors during the festive season. It is important staff are reminded of this and who will be in the office, to ensure official documents are not left in plain sight.
  • On the fifth day of Christmas, keep a log of all electronic equipment or USBs leaving the office over the Christmas period. It is important to keep track of where all storage devices are to help protect an organisation from a harmful data breach.
  • On the sixth day of Christmas, limit the type of documents that employees can remove from the office. There is no way to ensure data is secured when it’s outside your company’s control.
  • On the seventh day of Christmas, be sure electronic devices such as tablets and laptops which employees might be working on from home are encrypted and password protected, to safeguard any confidential information stored on them.
  • On the eighth day of Christmas, remind employees to destroy all invoices or other financial documents that are no longer needed. In the frantic rush to get all invoices paid before the end of year, careless mistakes could ensue which could lead to a damaging data breach. 
  • On the tenth day of Christmas, adopt the mantra ‘new year, new start’. Revisit your information security protocols and conduct an information security audit of your business to ensure that your data is as fully protected as possible.
  • On the eleventh day of Christmas, start thinking about those New Year’s Resolutions. Need to keep your paperwork under control?  Consider employing a shredding service to help your business become more efficient, secure and reduce the risk of an information security breach.
  • On twelfth day of Christmas,in the New Year many employees start to think about clearing out their desks but it is important to make sure they are safely destroying their confidential information and not simply throwing it away in an unsecured waste paper basket or recycling bin for others to get their hands on.

More tips on how companies can improve office security and safeguard themselves against a data breach can be found on Shred-it’s resource centre.