How to avoid office security breaches

It starts by managing people



Securing your business from the inside out

Whether it’s bolstering software against potential cyberattacks or implementing new internal frameworks to avoid in-house leaks, protecting your assets is vital to the ongoing success of your organization.

It’s important to note that not all threats to your company are external. In fact, a Canon case study shows that staggering 35% of crimes are committed by insiders. Furthermore, one in every three data leaks originates from within the organization. That means your people are one of the most volatile elements of the business – if managed incorrectly, they can open your organization up to major threats.

Of course an all-encompassing office security framework should focus on the ‘big three’ – people, documents, and network – but your people cannot be boxed into a specific document or network strategy. Rather, they must be managed at all times, and training should be seen as an ongoing solution that requires regular revisions.


Data loss prevention

One of the easiest ways to protect your organization against external threats is to implement secure access protocols that restrict entry to only verified employees and contractors. However, that solution has no ability to protect the company against internal leaks from the same people. A data loss prevention (DLP) solution can detect potential breaches and leaks and then block sensitive data before it is penetrated.

Creating user-specific access protocols is one option. For example, swipe card access is a simple solution that offers an instant security boost and allows the organization to manage who has access to specific company data and hardware – and when.

Canon’s all-in-one print, scan and document management solution, uniFLOW, can integrate with proximity or magnetic-card-reader facilities in order to restrict or limit access for certain employees. The software is able to examine any content printed for sensitive data. It initially blocks the content from being printed, alerts the IT department and prompts an approval process – the ability for that content to be printed is then accepted or rejected, depending on the user’s permissions.

Mohamed El Bahrawy, Business Information and Services Manager at Canon Middle East, says how a company manages its people can vary. “Depending on the office, there are many different methods and strategies that may be employed. Secure-release technology, for example, ensures users identify themselves at the device before they are able to access its features,” he says.

“Employee awareness, combined with policies and procedures, can reduce the volume of potential attacks.”


Access for guests and common threats

With the right software, hardware and permissions framework, an organization can take office security into its own hands. But what happens with guests, external contractors and other non-employees?

For large organizations, managing guests is a potentially hazardous security challenge. It’s important to manage any BYOD devices brought by guests, and be sure to inform them that while they will have access to company devices, their document access will be managed with restricted permissions.

In addition to BYOD, Mohamed El Bahrawy defines other security threats from your people:

  • Poor password management: Using the same passwords for work and home accounts.
  • Phishing: Opening malicious emails.
  • Dubious accounts: Giving private or company information to fake social media accounts or over the phone.

In all things, you need to ensure every employee understands two points: that you have a data security plan in place (covering print processes, document access, etc.); and that information security is a priority. Be sure to build a comprehensive security policy that employees can access, and consider training sessions to bolster security and futureproof the company against data leaks from its people.

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