Creating a Secure Office Space
Is your office in danger? While cybersecurity is a real concern for businesses, there are also worries about data breaches when you leave information visible or when you lose a device. How can you avoid old-fashioned data theft and create safer practices in your workplace?
Automate What You Can
As your agency gets larger and busier, you will outgrow many of the practices that got you to that place. Unfortunately, "Relying on paper-based checklists and manual reviews doesn’t scale," according to CMSWire . As you grow, make sure that you use forms that both automate your general practices and your security practices. This will leave fewer pieces of paper that can potentially end up in the wrong hands.
Hide Passwords in a Password Protection System
Use a password protection system that hides or gives you new passwords. This is a superior alternative to what many of your employees are doing: placing passwords on or in their office desk, on a sticky note on the computer, or on their phone. You don't want anyone who visits your office to be able to quickly and easily find a password and get client information while you're away from your computer.
Make Sure Your Printer, Copier, and Computer Are Secure
This sounds very basic, and it is. However, an office in which members of the public can easily grab an item off your printer or copier is not a secure office. If clients can see the data from the previous or next client on your computer as you talk, some simple measures can help keep sensitive information secure. For example, turn the computer away from clients' sight lines or make a practice of logging off the previous client's information before you talk to someone new. Make sure that any place where sensitive data might land is not along the walking path that clients take when they enter or leave your office.
Manage Devices Remotely
If you have many people in the office who are working from home or from outside the office or if you have laptops, Ipads, or other devices that could go walking, make sure important data is on the cloud and that you can deactivate connections to that data remotely. That way, if a laptop goes missing, you may lose the laptop but the person who has it will not have access to client data.
Make Sure That the Rules Apply to Everyone
Security practices should be designed for everyone to follow. But as the Telegraph mentions, it's not uncommon that certain employees, such as executives, want to have workarounds for security procedures. The article says the key to overall security is "making employees, no matter their seniority, aware of these practices."
Some employees might feel like their modifications save time. However, it is important that everyone follow the same security procedures. For instance, if you have a rule regarding the shredding of documents, even a few people who don't follow the security process can lead to security issues for your agency. If this is the case, you might need to enforce your procedure or modify the practices you use to make sure that all documents are shredded.
E&O Insurance Can Cover You In Case of Emergency
If the worst happens, what will happen to your business? If one of your employees sends a lovely thank you note to the wrong customer, giving that person another customer's insurance information, that data breach could lead to a day in court for your insurance agency. While not all customers will sue your business due to an error or an omission, if it causes hardship to your customer, you could experience a lawsuit. Make sure that your business practices are excellent, but also look for E&O insurance to cover you financially so that a single lawsuit does not bring your insurance agency down.
At American Agents Alliance, we work with insurance agencies like yours to provide you with discounted resources such as E&O insurance . Are you curious about what we have to offer? Talk with us today about our many membership benefits .