How to Protect Your Company’s Data in Today’s World?

When the news broke that Edward Snowden, a contractor, had stolen and leaked NSA classified files, it is unlikely that the business world considered the threat that employees represent to their data. Businesses have long focused on protecting themselves from outsiders, competitors, hackers and the like. Businesses understand that there are myriad ways that their data can be breached, exposed or corrupted. They also understand that the parties most interested in their data is their competition. As a result, the focus of data protection is to protect it from external threats.

However, a new report from Boscom research is turning this thinking on its head. The report states that a staggering 85 percent of employees have taken company information and even documents when leaving a company. If Edward Snowden was a shot across the bow, this report was a direct hit. This not only provides the insight into the intention of employees, but worryingly exposes how easy it is for employees to steal a company’s data.

It is understandable that companies have trouble protecting their data from employees. Generally speaking, a company’s efficiency depends on the access their employees have to their data. At first glance, there is seemingly no way to restrict access to data without impeding business function. Most businesses when confronted with this issue have surely thrown up their hands and said that the problem is unsolvable.

But this thinking is actually not the case, certainly not for electronic data. There is no doubt that business processes, activities, and often “know-how” can and must be shared, and even some sensitive business strategies needs to be shared to undertake functioning. However, these aspects don’t always represent a large part of most businesses’ critical data.
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