How to secure sensitive data for you business
Does your business have trade secrets?
Have you developed a process or secret formula which your competition would love to get their hands on?
How secure is your list of clients, suppliers or any other highly confidential data?
Most businesses have sensitive information that if stolen or leaked would cause financial loss and/or embarrassment.
Laptops stolen from Office (case study)
This sensitive information is often just sitting unprotected on hard drives, as was the case with a Scottish company called Pelamis.
Pelamis is an innovative company working on a renewable energy project to harness the power of waves, and in 2011 it was visited by a 60-strong delegation from China, led by China’s then vice-premier.
Two months later there was a mysterious break in and four or five laptops were stolen from the office. Nothing else was taken.
What made the theft suspicious was that they went directly to the Pelamis office on the second floor ignoring the other company on the ground floor.
They seemed to know exactly what they wanted.
The crime went unsolved and was almost forgotten until reports of an identical project under development in China.
A direct link between the laptop theft and the similar project now underway in China cannot be proven, but the circumstantial evidence is compelling.
Protecting Sensitive Business Information
Your sensitive business data is at risk from a range of online and offline threats including industrial espionage and sabotage.
The threat of industrial espionage and sabotage is not seriously considered by most businesses, yet it just takes someone with a motive and access, and your business can be potentially destroyed in minutes.
Spend a few minutes now to think about who might want access to your sensitive information, and what they could do with it!
- Your Competition
- Disgruntled Employees
- Unhappy Customers / Clients
- Ex Business Partners
- Personal Vendettas
- Burglary / Opportunistic Theft
Conduct a Security Audit
In order to protect sensitive data you first need to conduct a full security audit to identify what is sensitive data, where it is located, and who has access.
Virtual Webmaster Services provide a FREE guide on how to conduct a security audit to enable you to secure sensitive data.
Virtual Webmaster 7 Step Security Audit & Protection Guide
Step 1 – Identify Sensitive Information
Identity what is sensitive data and perform risk analysis.
Step 2 – Determine who should have access
Determine who should have access to (and who should not)
Step 3 – Conduct hardware Audit
Locate the organizations computers and storage media.
Step 4 – Conduct software Audit
Identity all software currently used on the organizations computers.
Step 5 – Conduct Network Audit
Test network security and identify any vulnerabilities.
Step 6 – Scan network and storage media to locate sensitive data
Search the organisations computers and storage media for sensitive data.
Step 7 – Review Audit and secure sensitive data accordingly
Ensure sensitive data is secure and access is restricted to authorized persons.
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About the Author
Christopher is an IT specialist with 30 years of experience in developing technology working with corporates and SME’s. Chris is a Microsoft Certified System Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, as well as numerous certificate based qualifications in technology and application development.