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Technology in the Office

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Technology has become an integral part of our daily life both personal and work.  Technology can make operating your business easier and more efficient. However, the increased use of more invasive technology has given rise to employee and staff privacy concerns. According to Norton (an international virus software provider), around 65% of businesses have experience some sort of cyber-attack and, unfortunately, these attacks become over-more advanced as technology and the software that drives it becomes more advanced.

A business can be held liable for the loss of confidential customer and employee information. As a result, business must take extra precautions to ensure that this confidential data and information are secure. Of course, no system is 100% secure – if banks, credit card companies, multi-national defense contractors and the like are not immune from data breaches, then the average start-up and small business must feel like data protection is a pointless exercise. Ultimately, a business that implements commercially reasonable security measures and protocols, and imposes checks and balances to ensure its staff comply with those measures and protocols, will mitigate the risk of a data breach and liability in the event one occurs.

Every small business should consider implementing these security measures:

  1. Require employees to reset passwords frequently (every two or three months). Many software programs will prompt the user to update their login credentials. However, although this does provide additional security, alone it is not adequate in preventing data breaches.
  2. Implement multi-factor authentication. Multi-Factor Authentication is a process where the user is required to confirm their credentials or identify via a key-fob device with changing alpha-numeric symbols or numerical codes sent via phone, text or email. This provides an extra layer of prevention, inhibiting someone from accessing information with a password alone. Bonus: it is cheap and easy to install.
  3. Prohibit employees from taking confidential information or materials home. If employees bring their work devices home, such as laptops or mobile phones, you should ensure that those devices have proper virus and firewall protections and that the employees are taking the proper precautions outside the office to maintain data security. There are data encryption services that allow you to encode private information that is on your device. A breach of an encrypted device is often useless because it is extremely difficult to unencrypt the data on the device with the pass-codes.
  4. Ensure all devices are returned by employees before they are terminated or leave the employment.
  5. Use encrypted email.
  6. Install virus and firewall systems on all work devices.
  7. Educate employees and staff on the methods used to breach data sources like phishing scams. Human error is often the most common cause of data breaches. It is important that employees and staff are trained to identify and recognize the signs of these scams.

If you believe your small business has been the victim of a data breach or if your business has been sued as a result of an alleged data breach, contact The Jacobs Law LLC today by phone: 1-800-652-4783 or email: contactus@thejacobslaw.com

 

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