Follow Kara Linkedin Twitter Facebook
Email Kara Email
Legal Issues
Mar 1, 2016

The Third Step To A Sound Cybersecurity Plan: Protecting Your Data

Sponsored Content provided by Kara Gansmann - Attorney, Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP

In this series on crafting a cybersecurity plan for your business, the third aspect of a plan implements ways to protect the personal data gathered and used by your business. While the best protection of data depends on what kinds of data your business uses, protection involves four general areas: physical security, electronic security, personnel security, and contractor and vendor security. Use these guidelines to draft the protection component of your own cybersecurity plan.
 
Physical Security: The best defense here is essentially a locked door and written policies for access to personal data. Consider storing tangible items like papers, disks and jump drives in a locked file cabinet or locked room (or off-site storage facility), limiting access only to those employees who have a legitimate business need. Identify who has a key. Remind employees not to leave papers on their unattended desks. If you ship personal data, encrypt it and keep an inventory of what data is shipped. Secure items like PIN pads.
 
Electronic Security: This area includes password management, device security and Internet safety. Your written policy should require employees to use “strong” passwords that must be changed frequently and password-activated screen savers. It should also forbid the sharing of passwords and posting passwords at work stations. Change vendor-supplied default passwords for new software and equipment. Ensure your employees encrypt data sent digitally by e-mail or over public networks. Limit laptops and smartphone access to only those who need portability to perform their jobs. Use wiping programs to delete unneeded data on laptops. Require IT administrators to approve all downloads or changes to security settings, and regularly run anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. Consult your IT specialists for firewalls, security features of digital copiers, and an intrusion detection system.
 
Employee Security: With employees, it is imperative to not only draft employee policies for cybersecurity, but to also adhere and enforce those policies. Put your cybersecurity rules in employee handbooks. Ask employees to sign confidentiality agreements and security standards. Some employee policies implement protocols for responding to e-mails and telephone calls to avoid “phishing” scams. Require regular cybersecurity training for employees and update them with new risks and vulnerabilities.
 
Outside Vendor/Contractor Security: Your company’s security practices are only as successful as those who implement them. Carefully vet your company’s contractors and service providers by comparing their security practices to your own. In your contract with these providers, address specific security issues for the type of data the contractor will handle. Insist that they notify you of any security incidents even if data was not actually compromised.
 
By addressing these aspects of data protection, your cybersecurity plan will foster a heightened culture for security. But more so, a strong cybersecurity plan can serve to limit your liability in the event of an unfortunate data breach.
 
Kara Gansmann, a North Carolina native, is an associate in Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP’s Wilmington office, where she focuses her litigation and appellate practice on various aspects of labor and employment law, business and contractual disputes, medical malpractice, and HOA matters. To contact Kara Gansmann, call (910) 777-6055 or email her at [email protected].
 

Other Posts from Kara Gansmann

Wbj insights revised 0510 121615113531
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Mike stonestreet 300x300

Leasing in a Community Association

Mike Stonestreet - CAMS (Community Association Management Services)
Burrus rob headshot 300x300

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence: What Does It Mean for Our Region?

Robert Burrus - Cameron School of Business - UNC-Wilmington
20180514 104209 51418120638

'I Hate...'

Steve Adams - School of Learning Arts

Trending News

VentureSouth Starting Wilmington Angel Investment Group

Johanna Cano - Apr 23, 2019

Coastal Carolina Curling Club To Slide Into Own Facility

Johanna Cano - Apr 22, 2019

First New-Panamax Ship A Harbinger Of More Business For Port Of Wilmington

Jenny Callison - Apr 23, 2019

Tourism Development Authority Announces Appointments, Officers For 2019

Jenny Callison - Apr 22, 2019

Parr Earns Fellowship From Professional Organlzation

Jenny Callison - Apr 22, 2019

In The Current Issue

Hamilton Looks To Redefine The Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship isn't limited to a select few, says Brian Hamilton, co-founder and CEO of Sageworks, who has been spreading that message i...


MADE: GE's 50 Years In Wilmington

A look at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, a provider of advanced reactor technology and services, which has been a major part of Wilmington's bus...


Tackling A Lag In Housing Starts

Housing starts dropped last year in New Hanover County, due in part to Hurricane Florence, and challenges remain even as permits have recent...

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`
Transporting the Future - Power Breakfast 3.12.2019
Health Care Heroes 2018