Establishing strategies to prevent internal security breaches is essential. The shocking statistic that 43 percent of breaches are internal could have been much lower with some proactive measures in place. Failure to prepare means your security risks are only going to increase as your business grows. Here are some ways that your company can promote digital security from within.

Establish Policies

Each organization should have a well-planned and documented security policy in place, for both physical and electronic protection. This might include automated logging of data access, locked server rooms with surveillance cameras, strong password requirements, mandatory employee log-offs when away from the desk, and more. Your IT, HR, and management teams should all be in cooperation. The written policy and any future updates should be posted on employee resource sites. New hires should read and agree to these policies. It will also help to send out regular emails as reminders or update notices.

Minimize Devices and Downloads

Your company should also crack down on “shadow IT” activity like bringing in personal devices or unauthorized software. Smartphones and tablets should not be used to access your network except for remote employees who need them, and even they should be using secure channels and applications like VPNs (virtual private networks). Storage options like CDs, flash drives, external hard drives, and personal cloud storage should not be permitted. Careless employees could share information or viruses that lead to data breaches.

Improve Employee Awareness

Employee vigilance is the first step in protection. This could be anything from reporting unauthorized visitors, even familiar employee friends or families, contractors, or sales people. Staff should also be informed on the latest phone or email scams. Provide occasional training sessions on what kind of threats to look for. You could also turn to professional training. It’s always worth your while to make time for security awareness training.

Enforce Policies

It does no good to establish rules or provide training if you don’t see to it that your guidelines are followed. There should be disciplinary actions put in place and included in your security policy documentation. For instance, failure to log off the computer when going to lunch could involve a verbal reprimand, but taking sensitive paperwork out of the office might result in a written warning. Repeated or serious offenses may warrant suspension or termination.

A single data breach could result in stolen funds, worried clients, and even ruin your business. It’s vital that employees take an active part in protecting your network.