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Stopping confidential data leaks

Tuesday, 31 August 2010 | By Patrick Stafford

About 35% of large companies have investigated a leak of sensitive or confidential data through email during the past year, according to a new study from Osterman Research. And about 25% of the companies surveyed had found the information was posted on a blog or message board.

 

That is a significant increase from the 18% recorded during the same period in 2009. The study also points out that in many cases, companies responded to these incidents with disciplinary action against employees.

 

The study demonstrates why businesses need to be ruthless in protecting their data. Imagine losing a piece of confidential data – like a business plan – and seeing it end up on a blog or message board.

 

Protect your data. If you use shared networks at the workplace, protect them with passwords that only one or two

people know. Keep physical copies of business plans locked away, or keep copies on a flash drive that only you know about.

 

You can also use software products to protect your data. There are plenty of encryption programs that make important emails unable to be opened by hackers, while you could also install monitoring software that alerts you whenever someone is accessing your computer, or any computer on your network. This means you can pinpoint who is using your computers, and at what times.