In this increasingly connected world, it’s impossible to fully get rid of your digital risk. In an age where many key processes are now outsourced to third parties, organisations will always depend on outsiders for smooth and efficient functioning. Think of email or data storage – chances are your organisation outsources at least part of these typical business necessities.
So, how can an organisation ensure they are minimising their risk, while not compromising their productivity or performance? Consider the following three steps to keep your cybersecurity posture high.
Do a complete sweep of your data. Do you know what’s happening to your data, or even what data you are storing it? It’s worth doing a data audit at regular intervals to make sure that your organisation is only collecting data that is relevant to your business needs and that it is being stored correctly and securely. Furthermore, it’s important to ensure that there is a policy to securely dispose of data after it is no longer needed.
Ensure your organisation has an updated retention plan in place – and that your employees understand it and follow it, too. After completing your data audit, ensure that you update your retention plan accordingly. And then, keep your employees updated on how and where they should store any sensitive data, and other cyber hygiene best practices. Data storage is no longer solely the remit of your IT or security team. It only takes one employee clicking on a phishing link or incorrectly protecting sensitive data to cause a breach.
Follow your data to the end. Once data is deemed unnecessary (or needs to be deleted for another reason, such as a subject requesting their data be expunged under GDPR), follow your organisation’s deletion procedure. Ensuring that this is done regularly removes the probability that old data will be stolen, and minimises your digital footprint.
Ultimately, there is no way to fully remove digital risks in today’s world. However, with consistent audits and thoughtful updates to your data policies, your organisation can lessen these risks.