The Dos and Don’ts of Sharing Sensitive Business Data
Almost all companies and organizations store and handle sensitive data in one manner or another. Whether this is financial details, confidential client information, or even employee personal information, it should all be handled carefully and should not be put at risk. Data is more often put at risk when it is shared – this is when data is least secure. Every cybersecurity training reminds its participants that when data leaves the security of a hard drive or secure cloud storage, this data is exposed to the vulnerability of being accessed and shared by unauthorized individuals.
The problem is, sometimes you must share this kind of sensitive data with other people to keep your business running. So how can you prevent your confidential information from falling into the wrong hands when you are sharing it? Here are some dos and don’ts to make sure that your sensitive business data stays private and secure while sharing.
Don’t Use Email
Email is one of the riskiest ways of sharing information online. Copying the incorrect recipient to an email by mistake or an email getting forwarded without your knowledge is all too convenient. People sometimes leave themselves logged in to their emails on public computers, and emails can now be easily hacked into. If phones and devices are lost or stolen, there’s barely enough protection to prevent access to the inbox and other sensitive data stored in the device.
Don’t Use Consumer File-sharing Tools
Consumer file-sharing tools are infamous for lack of security: for instance, iCloud’s hacking scandals and Dropbox’s password leaks. You can’t guarantee data security shared via the public cloud, and consumer file-sharing services don’t have information security certifications or enterprise-grade security features. They don’t meet organizational security compliance policies and are perceived by most IT experts as a risk.
Don’t Store All of Your Data in One Place
If you depend on cloud storage to store some of your data, you may need another storage option for the rest of your company data, too. Keeping all your company’s data on one, or multiple devices, kept in one place or medium is a recipe for disaster.
Theft and even natural disasters like fire, flood, and lighting can easily compromise your data and result in a massive data loss — this potential is even more enormous when all your data is stored in the same place. In that case, what happens to one of your devices could potentially happen to all your devices — leaving you unable to recover any of your sensitive data.
Do Use a Dedicated Enterprise File-sharing Platform
A cybersecurity training held in Singapore also suggests getting a sharing platform that is specifically designed for business. Cloud-based secure file sharing platforms allows the secure transfer of data and information without the risks that come with email or consumer tools. With these kinds of platform, access is granted on a permission-only basis with each user requiring a login. Properly accredited software-as-a-service providers usually offer enterprise-grade security features that will guarantee the protection of all data within the system.
Do Look for a Certified Enterprise Cloud Vendor
When you decide on your file-sharing platform, ensure that you check the cloud vendor’s reputation and information security policies so you can make sure that they are keeping your data safe. Find out, are they ISO 270001 certified? Are they audited independently? It helps to know that the vendor has good information security procedures and policies in place to keep you and your clients’ information and data safe.
Do Set User Permissions and File Expiry Dates
For added security, select a file-sharing platform that lets you apply digital rights management and automatic expiry to each shared information and data. Digital rights management lets you restrict saving or printing of the file and avoid unwanted data leakage, and applying expiry dates automatically removes access to the file after a certain period.