thumbnail image for blog post: Information Security Risks: How Many Can You Spot in the Workplace?

If asked about data security in your office, you might be inclined to talk about your robust firewall, antivirus software, password protection protocols, encryption, and even network maintenance and monitoring.  Unfortunately, a simple review of your office setting could reveal some glaring gaps when it comes to information security.

If you’re unaware of risk factors for data breach and theft, you could have a ticking time bomb on your hands that ends with stolen data and some very unhappy customers.  Here are just a few common information security risks you may have overlooked that could be lurking in your workplace.

Piles of Paper

If you have yet to adopt a clean desk policy, you might walk around your office and see a lot of loose paperwork out in the open.  Chances are good that some of these hard copies contain sensitive data that could be used for nefarious purposes, like data breaches or identity theft.  You never want to believe that your employees might engage in unscrupulous behavior, but it’s best to avoid internal threats by clearing clutter and making sure employees are aware of the consequences of exposing confidential data in this manner.

Open Shredding Bins

This is essentially the same issue as paper piled on desks, except that if it is slated for shredding, there’s a much better chance it contains sensitive data that is likely already restricted digitally.  You need to provide employees with locking bins to insert paper into so that others can’t collect hard copies and steal information.  Don’t forget to put a shred all policy into effect so that employees know to put all paper in bins for shredding, rather than potentially placing the wrong item in an open trash or recycling bin.

Open Access to Office Space

Do you have a keycard system for entering your building, or at least for accessing interior office spaces?  If not, you could have a serious potential threat for data theft on your hands.  If anyone off the street can walk in and start poking around, you’re at high risk for data breach and theft.

Unlocked Computer Terminals

Whether you delineate office space with cubicle walls or you have an open setting to encourage collaboration, you should adopt a policy that mandates security protocols like locking computer terminals when employees walk away from a desk for any period of time.  They should also lock up documents containing sensitive data.  This will help to ensure that coworkers can’t retrieve data they wouldn’t normally have access to.

Unlocked Storage for Old Equipment

When you’re updating computer equipment and electronic devices, it may take you some time to figure out what to do with the old stuff.  As a result, it might be left sitting in unlocked storage space where anyone could swipe it.  Instead, make sure to keep it under lock and key, as well as the supervision of an employee such as the facilities manager.

From there, you can partner with a reliable service like SEAM to collect and transport your equipment to a secure facility for shredding and recycling.  Contact SEAM at 605-274-SEAM (7326) to learn more and alleviate data security risks for your Sioux Falls area business.