3 Ways to Help Your Employees Understand the Value of Information
Protect your business by emphasizing the importance of caring for and maintaining information
At any point, on any given day, your employees could be accessing confidential information. Whether by accident, or due to malicious intent, when a staff member is able to open, alter, or transfer data from within your organization, your company becomes susceptible to a security breach.
Even when an employee does have the right to access a file or document, if proper protocols aren’t followed, the integrity of your business data is put at risk.
And, unfortunately, no business is immune to these types of breaches.
And not only do businesses have to worry about the potential mishandling of their information by employees, they also have to be wary of failing to adhere to any legislative acts that apply to their company (such as PIPEDA).
This is why we are firm believers that proper enterprise information management (EIM) should be a priority for every businesses, big or small.
But how can employers help their employees fully grasp the importance of keeping data safe and secure?
We’ve put our brains together and have come up with the following strategy for businesses that want to communicate the importance of information management to their staff members.
Here Are 3 Ways To Help Your Employees Understand The Value Of Information
1. Demonstrate The Potential Impact
When discussing proper information management with your employees, nothing hammers the point home like providing examples of security breaches, how they happened, and what the consequences were.
Some examples of disastrous IT security breaches include:
The engineering firm Allen & Hoshall, who lost approximately $425,000 worth of documents and designs when a former employee was able to continue accessing file servers after leaving the company.
The well-known Equifax breach of 2017 was caused by an employee who worked in the company’s IT department. The employee failed to update a software that would have prevented the attack.
The City of Calgary had to scramble after the personal information of 3,700 of its employees was compromised. The break happened when one staff member sent an employee information file to the city’s IT department while asking for technical support.
By highlighting the simple (and seemingly insignificant) actions that can lead to data breaches, you are able to demonstrate to your employees why information management is necessary, and the potential repercussions for both them and the company, should they not follow proper procedures.
2. Offer Consistent Training
Employee turnover is a normal part of operating any business, but it can also make your company more prone to security threats. The more new employees you have, the less informed your team becomes, which is why regular training is so important.
At ARC Business Solutions, we offer employee training as a part of our mobile solutions division.
But you don’t necessarily have to rely on an IT services provider to educate your staff members about keeping data safe and secure.
At the very least, you should have a data management strategy for your business that documents how employees should label, save, and store information. It should also detail the processes employees should follow if they think a security threat has taken place.
The more your employees know about how you expect data to be treated within your business, the more capable they will be of maintaining the processes you’ve put in place.
So, if you want to strengthen your security measures, this is an ideal place to start.
3. Keep Policies and Procedures Simple
This one can be tricky, since data and IT-related topics are often seen as complex. Employees tend to lose focus when lessons become filled with too much “tech-speak”, not fully grasping the concepts that are being discussed.
This is why it is essential for employers to discuss the importance of information management in a way that is easily digestible for employees.
Break your policies and procedures into clear and concise action-focused steps that your employees can follow.
Some examples of action-focused steps include:
Ensure your PC has updated anti-virus software at all times
Ensure you have enabled two-step verification on all business email accounts
Never download unapproved software
Never send sensitive information via email or online messaging programs
Follow established best practices when creating passwords for business accounts
The more straightforward you are, the more your employees will be able to retain and understand your guidelines, which will ultimately improve compliance.
Additionally, if your company is required to handle information a specific way by law, this will help your employees uphold the standards your company will be held to.
For example: If you are an Oil and Gas company in Canada, you are required by law to adhere to the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act, which requires you to disclose information or documentation related to safety or environmental protection, among other things.
Another example of a business that is required by Canadian law to follow specific reporting procedures are casinos. Casinos are required by law to submit reports on suspicious transactions, and must keep certain account, transaction and client identification records.
If you are a business that is required by law to comply with specific legislation regarding how to store, file, and provide access to various types of information, a sound information management strategy is crucial to ensuring your business is successful.