Running any business comes with a lot of challenges — finding and retaining the right talent, overhead costs, payroll, marketing, and closing sales, among many others. It can sometimes feel fulfilling, and other times it can feel like being a hamster on a wheel.
But no matter what kind of day you’re having, it’s always crucial to prioritize cybersecurity. At the end of the day, your hardware, software, servers, and cloud infrastructure are all integral to keep your business going. It’s where you store and access your data. They are your tools to get the job done.
One of the most important elements of this puzzle is your confidential document. In fact, depending on your industry, this may be the most important component. So what can you do when you’re learning how to protect confidential information in the workplace?
What Are Considered Confidential Document?
While at first glance, the term confidential document may seem self-explanatory, the reality is that it doesn’t just refer to information you want to keep secret. It also includes any communications that are industry-regulated and thus required to keep safe from unauthorized disclosure.
- Patient information, under HIPAA
- Attorney-client communications
- Legal files
- Financial information
- Intellectual property
- Trade secrets
- Customer’s personally identifiable information (PII)
How To Keep a Confidential Document or File Secure
There are several best practices when it comes to protecting a confidential document. Some rely on cybersecurity, yet others require that each team member of any organization is proactive about avoiding disclosure.
1. Establish Privacy Policies
Don’t just tell your team what you want them to do. Put it in writing and make sure everyone is required to read it.
Also, send periodic reminders and include them as part of their continuing education courses. Because even if you think that your data is protected, you may still be exposed to vulnerabilities.
2. Train Employees
In addition to ensuring employees are aware of your privacy policies, hire professionals to simulate cybersecurity attacks. Attacks like phishing and whaling scams, social engineering, and man-in-the-middle attacks are the most common cyberattacks. Also, teach your team how to recognize malware and what to do in the event of an incident. This will keep a confidential document more secure.
Because even if they think they’re being careful, they may be leaking data without even realizing it.
3. Use Secure Networks if you handle confidential document
One of the conveniences of the modern world is that everywhere you go, there’s free WiFi. But just because it’s available, it doesn’t mean you should use it. Beware and protect your confidential document to prevent a data leak.
The information sent through them is not encrypted. This makes it easy for hackers to access your login credentials, confidential document and all personal and private data you may be working with or storing from your computer or mobile device. This issue is even more crucial now that so many people are working remotely.
4. Use Anti-Virus Protection
Malware can easily obtain access to a confidential document. Anti-virus protection identifies and deletes malicious code. It also continues to monitor your network, schedule automatic scans, and block common malware, including viruses, spyware, ransomware, worms, adware, and Trojans.
And this applies to all sorts of devices. Don’t think that if you’re working from a MacBook, you’re 100% safe.
5. Leverage End-to-End Encryption
End-to-end encryption ensures that information and confidential documents cannot be understood by any unauthorized third parties while in transit. This is because users need a decryption key to be able to read the information, and only the sender and recipient are supposed to have it.
The caveat is that whenever you’re sending email through providers like Gmail or Microsoft, these companies have copies of decryption keys. Therefore, in theory, they would be able to read such information.
6. Secure Password Practices
Passwords are easily forgotten, shareable, and easy to guess. Even if you think you’re being clever and/or original, cybercriminals can still perform a dictionary attack to decipher it.
This involves repeatedly submitting different usernames and passwords through automated tools. It cycles through every possible combination until the correct answers are guessed. This is why it’s good practice to change your passwords frequently and to never use easy-to-guess combinations. Remember. The golden rule is to always protect a confidential document.
7. Utilize Biometrics
Something that’s significantly more reliable than secure password practices are biometrics — using fingerprints, facial recognition, voice recognition, or retina scans to access information.
These are much harder to steal from a database, and also offer the added convenience of not having to constantly remember passwords or waste time attempting to recover them. To add an extra layer of protection, you can use continued biometrics authentication and/or multi-factor authentication (MFA). Note that you can use biometrics to prevent unwanted view of a confidential document.
8. Encourage Screen Privacy
Even if an employee uses a secure password or biometrics to log into their computer, they can still get up for a minute; or they could be unaware of a bystander looking over their shoulder.
This can be resolved by installing software where a warning sign pops up whenever these incidents occur, blocking the information on the screen from being viewed by an unintended person.
9. Use Authenticated Signatures for confidential document
Nowadays, most business transactions can be conducted online. The majority of these are confidential documents. Many of them require signatures. Digital signatures provide an added layer of protection than those that simply require checking a box or tracing your name with your finger.
They do so by using a hash function and encrypting by public key infrastructure to ensure that only the intended recipient is the one who has access to the information — and if the data is somehow compromised, the sender is notified.
10. Achieve Advanced Enterprise Governance
Smart Eye Technology offers a proprietary control panel for real-time actionable data from all your confidential documents. The software allows you to identify leaks, flight risks, and threats.
It also provides a log trail with actionable intelligence that retrieves information that has already been sent.
Protect Your Confidential Document With Smart Eye Technology
At Smart Eye Technology, we provide powerful, comprehensive, and affordable cybersecurity solutions across all devices. We also make things simple by allowing you to control all implemented tools from one single platform.
Contact us or schedule a demo to see how we can help you protect your network.