When you store employee data such as social security numbers, bank information, addresses, and medical records, you are responsible for protecting this information. However, knowing how to protect employee data can be difficult. Cybercriminals are a constant threat not only a threat to your business but also to your employees. Therefore, you need to establish policies and processes that ensure everyone who has access to employee data uses it properly and maintain privacy for your employees. Here are a few tips for keeping employee data secure.
Develop Data Security Policies & Procedures
Develop detailed policies and procedures to maintain consistency with how employee information is collected and stored within your organization. Clearly state that employee data should only be collected for legitimate business purposes. Additionally, unauthorized copying, transmitting, viewing, or using sensitive employee information is subject to discipline, up to and including termination. Instruct employees to inform business leaders if they suspect someone has gained unauthorized access to protected information. All employee data should be secured with administrative, technical, and physical controls. Hard copies of employee records should be stored in a secure location, with access limited to the individuals responsible for maintaining the files. Electronic records should be encrypted, password protected, and stored on a secure server. Don’t forget to evaluate electronic systems regularly to ensure that new technology and viruses do not compromise security.
Set Clear Data Access Permissions
No matter how much you trust your employees, it’s smart to set internal controls and limit each employee’s access to only the information they need for their job. Have your systems set up to log the information each employee accesses. It’s also a good idea to establish segregation of duties, preventing an employee from having too much responsibility. For example, managers should only be given access to performance information, such as their employees’ attendance records and performance reviews. They should not have access to other information, such as an employee’s medical history or status as a member of a protected group. Finally, make sure you can revoke an employee’s access quickly if you suspect malice or misuse.
Understand & Follow Recordkeeping & Privacy Laws
As soon as a potential employee applies for an open position, you begin to collect sensitive information about them. Before you collect and store this information, you need to understand the legal requirements regarding its storage and protection. These laws may address how records must be retained and for how long. Not understanding all federal, state, and local recordkeeping laws can put your organization at rights for heavy fines.
Provide Cybersecurity Education & Training
Providing regular cybersecurity training for your employees keeps data security top of mind and provides the tools they need to protect sensitive information. Training should include common tactics cybercriminals use to gain access to company and employee data, such as social engineering and phishing, password best practices, and the importance of data backups and software updates. You should train employees once a quarter or more, with additional training exercises like a phishing test. In addition, inform your employees of new attacks, breaches that occur, and the potential cost of a data breach to your business. Finally, remember that cybersecurity is a team effort, and you need to put your employees in a position to succeed.
To learn more about how Grand Technology Solutions can help improve your company’s data security call us at (904) 606-6011 or email email@example.com.