In Singapore, the PDPA certification covers personal data protection, and it enforces that every company and organisation should know how to protect data it is responsible for, whether it is data relating to their organisation, their staff or their consumers.
Learn how you can avoid security breaches and protect data that is under your care with these basic data breach prevention tips:
Establish Security Policies
A company can benefit significantly by implementing robust security policies, like a shred-it-all strategy. With the right systems in place, the burden of deciding which documents should be discarded can be lifted off the shoulders of employees. By destroying every unnecessary record, the risk of a physical data breach is kept at a minimum. Organizations are also encouraged to regularly review their policies and procedures to make sure their online and offline security measures are relevant and updated.
An office employee uses an average of 10,000 sheets of paper annually. Among these paperwork, there is bound to be confidential customer, employee, or company data. However, many organisations tend to discard paper documents in an insecure manner, such as with other rubbish from the office or through recycling bins. These organizations may be completely unaware of which records have private data on them and what happens to them once the papers are removed from the office. By shredding documents before they are discarded, the data is destroyed, thereby preventing a data breach or hack if those were to fall in the wrong hands.
Hard Drive and Media Destruction
It is a common misconception that the best way to discard data on hard drives is to reformat or erase the contents completely. However, a study by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) discovered that 40 percent of devices resold through resale channels contained personally identifiable information, including usernames and passwords, credit card information, contact information, and more. To prevent security and personal data breaches, you should systematically destroy your hard drives and other data-carrying media. This is the most secure way of safeguarding sensitive personal data.
Many data breaches happen because of human error. The best security systems cannot help your organisation if employees don’t understand their responsibilities and roles in protecting sensitive data. By investing resources and time once a year into adequately training staff on security measures, issues, and policies, employees will be able to understand the value of protecting data and be more aware of their role in ensuring that sensitive data is kept safe. Singapore has a local PDPA certification program for data protection officers to better equip companies in protecting their data.
In protecting soft copies of data on devices, you might assume that implementing a strong password would be enough. However, getting through passwords is quite easy for hackers and does not stop them from stealing classified data. Encrypting devices adds another layer of security and makes it a lot tougher for third parties to access them. Moreover, protocols can be set in place to wipe data from devices if unauthorised access is detected. These measures will help protect the data in case the devices ever fall into the wrong hands.
The first step you would need to take is to evaluate the workflow of your organisation and check for weak spots in the system that you can improve on, to ensure a secure work environment.