Protecting Private Data Best Practices

As we become more technologically focused in our personal and work lives it is becoming more essential that everyone engages in cybersecurity best practices. We wanted to outline some tips on how to protect your employees, your organization, and the people you serve from potential security threats. 

Use a secure connection or VPN
The Wi-Fi networks you use in your office should be secure and encrypted. When team members work remotely, they should be using your VPN (virtual private network). This reduces the risk of security breaches when working from a public wi-fi network. Make sure your employees know how to connect to the VPN, and why it matters, before they can work remotely.

MFA or 2FA
While it is still important to use strong password policies, your organization should also consider implementing multi-factor authentication for additional security.

Train your team

Security starts with people. Training your staff to follow basic security best practices like closing and locking devices when not in use, not clicking on malicious links or emails, and using strong passwords. Training should be a part of your onboarding process for new employees as well as a continuous practice for your entire organization. You can consider using specific training tools and platforms to ensure your organization is following best practices and actively following standards.

Manage permission settings
Not everyone in your organization needs access to every file. Determine which roles and teams need access to various documents, including financial information, HR documents, or client or patient data, and lock down access so that only relevant team members can view or edit these files. This will limit the possibility of accidental deletion, edits, or sharing of sensitive information.

Stay up to date with compliance practices
Your organization may be subject to laws and regulations like HIPAA, GDPR, or CCPA. Ensuring that your systems operating under these regulations when applicable is key to protecting your customers, patients, and your organization. By failing to meet these standards you subject yourself not only to fines, but to a loss of trust between the people you serve and your organization.


Have a plan in place for a breach
There is always a risk that the data you store could be subject to a breach. Under some regulations you are required to report data incidents to affected parties, but it is always best practice to document incidents and responses even if the threshold for reporting has not been met.  Before an incident occurs, it is important to determine what you consider a breach, create a team to handle your response, and outline your response plan. You should always analyze how the breach occurred and what security measure failed, try to limit any further data loss, and determine how you can prevent similar incidents in the future. 

While this list doesn’t encompass everything, your organization should do to stay secure, it is a good starting point. We recommend you start with assessing your current security infrastructure so you can find gaps and create a plan to fix them.

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