If you have a company, chances are you are dealing with a lot of data. Pretty much every company processes data several times per day. This could be the job of one, or ten, or hundreds of employees.
Think about all the times you have heard on the news or received a letter stating that your data may have been compromised. This is anything that a particular company has listed on you, from your social security number, address, phone, email, bank accounts, credit card numbers, or more! A lot of information can be found out about you just on information that others have stored about you.
If your corporation is not using some sort of data protection training, you need to implement this. Protecting data is a right of your customers, and if your business is not willing to take this measure into full effect, your clients will go elsewhere.
What is data protection training?
Data protection training is something that is needed by all companies across the globe. It involves training for employees of your company to keep the information you have about a client safe. Whatever information you are storing digitally, it needs to be protected.
This is where data protection training comes into play. It is becoming more and more popular to hear about data protection, but sadly many still do not understand what it is.
Companies that do not train their staff properly in handling data are often a weak link when it comes to data breaches. However, when you make sure staff know how important it is to protect this data, as well as being familiar with all laws, rules, and regulations, you can ensure that the data is well protected. Data that is stored must only be used in ways that are specifically stated, and should not be stored any longer than necessary. Laws require them to be stored securely, used only within the confines of the law, and only be used in relevant ways.
Compliance and Privacy Policies
You may or may not need to comply with the following privacy policies depending on what your business is. But you should also take into consideration that there may be other compliances that you need to follow for your business.
HIPAA – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 provides data privacy and security provisions for keeping medical information in the United States safe.
CCPA – California’s Consumer Privacy Act ensures privacy rights and consumer protection for California residents
GDPR – The General Data Protection Regulation is a regulation on data protection and privacy for EU citizens which includes the transfer of personal data outside of the EU.
Information commonly stored by companies
There is a lot of information that a company stores about not only their clients but their employees as well. The information that is stored may also be pertinent information to the employees or client’s next of kin, family, or shareholders. This may include, but is not limited to:
* Full names, including maiden name
* Addresses, both current and past
* Telephone numbers
* Bank and credit card details
* Health information
Any information that is collected on employees and clients that store must be compliant with your country’s privacy laws, regardless of if you intend to use the information or not.
Data theft facts
It is scary to think about having your data stolen. If you have never had this happen to you, it can be a real nightmare! Take a look at these data theft facts.
* The United States saw 1,244 data breaches in 2018 alone and 446.5 million records were exposed.
* Forbes stated that data breaches exposed 4.1 billion records from January to June 2019.
* In 2019, there were reports of almost 46% of new accounts for credit cards that had ID theft.
* With over 270,000 reports, credit card fraud was the most common type of identity theft last year and more than doubled from 2017 to 2019.
* Forty-Nine percent of all US companies have had a breach of data.
* Every 39 seconds, a hacking incident takes place.
* Only half of the corporations spend just 6–15% of their security budget on data security.
* Data breaches affect 28% of small business victims.
* Data breaches are becoming more common when the cloud is used.
* Phishing attacks are the result of 22% of data breaches.
* It takes months for data breaches to be uncovered on 60% of data breaches.
Benefits of data protection training
There are many benefits of data protection training for your company. The following are just a few!
When you have employees do data protection training, you are complying with your local rules and regulations. Data protection and privacy can assist in ensuring that your corporation meets compliance guidelines. If you are ever audited, this can be a great tool to have.
Less human error
Did you know that human error is responsible for 23% of data breaches? However, when you have data protection training implemented in your company, you can reduce this number significantly.
Implementing a data protection system is essential for safeguarding not only company data but also any personal or sensitive information you store about your employees and clients.
How should employees be trained in data protection?
There are various aspects of what an employee should be trained when it comes to data protection. Not only should they be trained in protecting the data itself, but they also need to be trained in how to report it.
Training employees should incorporate learning best practices for protecting personal and corporate information throughout every workday, and recognize their accountability for protecting the data of other employees and clients.
Employees should be trained on the following when it comes to data protection training:
* What information needs to be protected
* How to label all information
* How to organize all data
* Protocols on sharing data
* Having a strong password
* How to properly dispose of data no longer required
* Why is it crucial to back up data
* How to report data compromise
You will also want to ensure that your staff handling data have robust passwords. These passwords should contain capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Easy passwords, such as work1234, should be avoided as they are simple to figure out. They should be changing them regularly as well to ensure that no one hacks into the accounts.
Some tips that may work to assist in passwords include:
* Consider the length over the complexity of a password.
* Contemplate a “passphrase” that adheres to the company’s password requirements for length.
* Evade passwords based on one common word that can be easily located in the dictionary or that utilizes the name of the associated service.
* Use different passwords for both work and personal accounts.
It is important to add in your data protection training to never leave a computer unattended with a screen that has private information on it. All employees should lock their screens when leaving their computers, even if it will only be for a minute.
Safe browser use should also be covered during training. This includes being certain the application is fully patched, only perusing safe websites and URLs, and warning workers not to install unnecessary add-ons without administrative approval first.
Your company should also check and update customer information such as email addresses, phone numbers, and home addresses regularly. Delete duplicates and remove information that is no longer needed. You should plan on doing this once per quarter. Remember that invaluable information is of no use to you and will just clog up your system.
How to report
If your company is the victim of data theft, you will need to train your employees how to notice it and what they need to do. During this training, you will need to let them know what to expect if this does occur. You will also want to give them guidelines on who they should call and what steps they need to take. It will be imperative that the employee know what to do with any device that they believe has been compromised.
An employee should be trained to minimize damages as well. This may include:
* Recording notes to incorporate in the incident report.
* Isolating their computer or device from the business network.
* Notify security or specific employees when they see unknown individuals in the company.
* Assisting to stop coworkers’ possible motives to post news about the occurrence on social media, share information via email, texts, or phone calls, or address the press.
Once a report is made, a security team should step in and proceed to do an investigation on the report.
If your company stores data on its employees or customers, it is time to implement data protection training now. Do not wait until it is too late.
Your corporation must have data protection training in place for all employees. Not only will you put your customers at ease, but you can also gain their trust by doing so. After all, no one wants to receive that letter that says their personal information has been leaked.