What happens if you fail to secure confidential information in your documents?
You might lose some clients, or your business could collapse in severe cases.
It is vital to know how to protect confidential information.
Naturally, if you want to keep the confidential information protected, you should ensure that it does not divulge to unauthorized parties and invest in cyber security.
But this also begs the question:
What kinds of confidential information should be protected? What happens if a data breach happens and your customer information leaks? What are some best practices when it comes to protecting your digital documents?
All that, and more, we’ll cover below!
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- What is Confidential Information?
- Why Does Security of Confidential Information Matter?
- How Does Information Loss Happen?
- What Does Information Loss And Data Leaks Lead To?
- Tips and Best Practices For Keeping Confidential Information In Digital Documents Secure
What is Confidential Information?
Any non-public information that is provided or disclosed privately to any client with a set of privacy rules, or in confidence is considered confidential information.
Typically, there are 3 types of confidential information:
- Business information
- Employee information
- Management information
If you deal with a business, you need to know this type of confidential information.
This category includes everything related to business plans, financial information, proprietary information, data compilation, and manufacturing processes that come under business information.
Information related to employees that should be protected and not available to the public is called employee information.
Employee information includes social security numbers, telephone numbers, home, and email addresses, and more. Employers should ensure that employee information is not disclosed to unauthorized parties.
Finally, management information deals with company and operations data.
Such as employment contracts, information about employee affairs, all types of layoffs, HR data, employee investigations, and more.
Now, obviously all of the above confidential information matters.
Why Does Security of Confidential Information Matter?
Regardless of what type of business you are in, here are a couple of reasons why you should be keeping your confidential information protected.
- Non-disclosure agreements, a sort of confidential information, affect employment. Protection of such agreements means securing employment.
- It develops trust between employees and two parties.
- It restricts the use of confidential information for illegal or other misuses (e.g. inside trading).
- Companies that respect confidentiality can get a good reputation and an edge over competitors.
- It makes you responsible and accountable for your actions. Also, it makes sure that you are compliant with the policies and laws.
- Last but not least, worst-case scenario, you can get fined up to $25,000 per violation (e.g. for HIPAA).
How Does Information Loss Happen?
When information is corrupted, deleted, or destroyed either intentionally or accidentally for any reason, it is called information loss.
Here’s what you need to know about information loss.
Common causes of information loss
If you know the reasons that lead to information loss, you can prevent the information loss.
Following are some of the most common reasons that contribute to information loss.
Human error includes the unintentional deletion of confidential information in digital documents by a human being. Employees can sometimes overwrite sensitive information without realizing their mistakes.
To prevent this, consider investing in employee training when it comes to cyber security best practices and other knowledge on how to keep digital documents safe.
Hard drive crashes
Hard drives are the integral component of any business system.
Hard drive crashes can occur by mishandling of the computer, build-up of dust, overheating, malware, and more..
Seeking professional cybersecurity assistance can help you retrieve sensitive information.
When a computer is left unattended, it poses the threat of information loss. You should ensure a proper lock-up procedure to prevent computer theft.
Viruses and malware
Viruses are the leading cause of stealing data from digital documents. They are not only involved in information loss but also damage your digital documents and other functions of your computer.
It occurs by improperly shutting down the software. Software corruption can put you at high risk of information loss.
But what happens if the above causes lead to data breaches?
Let’s take a look.
What Does Information Loss And Data Leaks Lead To?
Workplaces should flourish in an environment where confidential information should not be breached.
If it gets disclosed to a third party then it can have negative consequences.
Following are some of the bad consequences that happen if confidential information is not protected.
Loss of trust
While making a contract between parties, it is essential to secure confidential information.
Any incident leading to a violation of the terms and breach of confidentiality can negatively impact the relationship between the parties involved.
Untrained employees involved in information loss can become blacklisted in the workplace. Companies can face trust issues in the business world. Business owners, employees, business operations, and everything involved in business suffer from loss of faith.