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Risk Management Bulletin


By February 3, 2014No Comments

Even though your business uses the latest cyber-security systems to protect confidential client data, low-tech thieves might well be tapping into this information without your knowledge: “Dumpster divers” rummage through company trash for discarded passwords and records. ATM cardholders often write their PIN code on the card itself. People hold loud “confidential” conversations in coffeehouses or walking down the street.

Have you ever considered how much of your customers’ private information might be left lying around the office? Fellow employees, cleaning crews, other customers, and repair people can easily walk by an absent employee’s desk and see confidential information scattered about or left on the computer screen. While you’ve invested in software to protect files against hackers, those same files could be sitting open in your office for all to see – and don’t overlook the most obvious and massive security breach in any organization – human error.

Walk through your business after hours or while employees are at lunch and see how much information is left openly accessible. Sit in the middle of the office or at the next booth or table at lunch, and listen for how much of your employee’s conversations (and possible confidential customer information) you can overhear.

Then decide what you can do to minimize this risk. Make sure that desktops are clear at night; add password-protected screen savers to your computers (and change the passwords often); and remind employees to be sensitive about what they reveal in public conversations.

It’s far better to clean up this problem now than to have it clean you out later.

Our agency’s risk management specialists stand ready to offer their advice at any time.