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Creating a Good Access Control Policy to Protect Sensitive Business Data

When running a business—either small or big—it’s important to look into the cybersecurity measures we have in place if not to protect our business, at least to protect the information we have gathered from our customers. Business owners have the responsibility to protect such sensitive information from getting into the wrong hands. Cybercrimes such as identity theft, phishing, and hacking can wreak havoc on one’s life.

The good thing is that great cybersecurity measures start in the office. You have complete control over it. Requiring next-gen WAF or web application firewall and an access control policy are just two of the things you can do. Employees should not be allowed to install web applications into office computers unless otherwise stated by the IT department. A great access control policy must be put in place to manage people who are accessing the data.

What Is an Access Control Policy?

Who has access to your business data? Everyone from the manager down to the clerk? A business should not work that way. An access control policy is a hierarchy of who has access to a business’ sensitive data. And yes, not everyone should have access to personal and sensitive information. There should be some authorization on how to access the data. Only people who are concerned about the data and will use the data for the company’s good should have access to it.

For that to happen, your IT department must have iron-clad measures in place on which computers have access to these files. Even if someone else uses the computer, a security program should still demand a password before opening the files. Also, your IT department should prohibit the copying of files in unknown locations. Printing should be prohibited, too.

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Having the best anti-cyberattack programs installed in your computer is not a reason to be lenient with your access control policy. Do you know that more than 50% of data loss is caused by human error? If everyone has access to the sensitive data, they can accidentally send it to someone, print it, or save it in a USB stick and lose that copy. The data could fall into the hands of cybercriminals. You won’t know what hits you until every bit of data has been corrupted.

To create a good access control policy, senior managers must discuss who needs to access company files. After identifying these people, the IT department will take their biometrics. They will have dedicated passwords as their login credentials, too.

It should be clear to them that their every move will be monitored when they enter the system. That will ensure that there’s no sensitive data being taken from the company servers and sent to an external server. If IT detects suspicious activities, they have to face an investigation.

Creating a clear access control policy is the first step to securing your company data. Albeit it’s a small step forward, it’s extremely important to gain the trust of your clients, partners, and customers. You should continue finding ways to protect your company files.

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