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Tips to Improve Your Company’s Security Measures

February 5, 2022

Courtesy of the Ahola Corporation

Taking measures to secure your personal and identifiable information has always been important. It is even more important now that many companies that share applications with their employees are all operating remotely. Read more for tips on how to protect your personal information. 

Application sharing is an element of remote access that enables two or more users to access a shared application or document from their respective computers, not only simultaneously but also in real time. The shared application or document runs on a host computer.

From there, the host user grants remote access to other users, allowing them to access shared content as well. As businesses begin to rely more and more on technology, everyone’s new mantra should be security, security, security.

Having a secure network requires serious planning, especially if employees are using their own devices to access shared applications. The following 11-step plan is a guide for developing a process for securing your business’s network.

The 11-step plan for improving security measures 

  1. List every shared application your business uses.
  2. Determine who has access to sensitive information, such as personnel files, Social Security numbers, additional personally identifiable information, and company financials. 
  3. Ensuring the safety of the information in these applications is especially critical, so it is important to 
    1. Keep track of 
      1. Authorized users for each application. 
      2. The level of clearance the authorized users have. 
    2. Have a plan in place so that you can immediately cut off people’s access to confidential information when they no longer work for the company.
  4. Keep track of inventory, including the computers and other electronic hardware that come into contact with private information, including printers, external hard drives, modems, routers, company-supplied mobile devices, and personal devices. Maintain a list of these devices, including the software that is stored on them, as well as their make, model, serial number, and any other identifying information. 
  5. Ensure that the information on each of these lists is the same across the board. 
  6. Understand what would happen if the information became inaccessible, public, or corrupted.
  7. After considering the possibilities in the previous step in terms of both financial losses and reputation-related damage, prioritize each shared application in terms of how important it is to your business operations. 
  8. Then, assess your answers to the following questions. 
    1. How vulnerable is your customer data to theft, disclosure, alterations, or unrecoverable losses? 
    2. What can you do to reduce the impact that such an event could cause for your customers and your business? 
    3. What can you do to reduce your company’s vulnerability?
  9. Once the company’s most vulnerable issues have been identified, develop action plans for remediation of the issues in ways that prioritize the most critical issues.
  10. Create an acceptable use policy that highlights the types of behavior that are allowed when dealing with sensitive client data. It will also apply to the use of any equipment that stores, manipulates, or otherwise interacts with that information. Make it company policy for everyone to sign the acceptable use policy if they use or have access to any sensitive information. This can include employees, vendors, independent contractors, and anyone else who has access to the company’s information.
  11. Train employees in terms of acceptable use as well as in terms of what to do if they identify a new vulnerability or a breach in the system. 

This guide addresses the steps that should be taken when assessing the internal vulnerability of a company. Other security-related details include zero-trust policies and what to do in the event of a ransomware attack.

Computer security has always been important, but the increased use of shared applications and the prevalence of remote work has raised its importance. Companies that do not have the internal resources necessary to conduct reviews should consider hiring an outside expert.

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