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In recent news about the Personal Data Protection Commission taking action against 11 firms for data privacy breaches in Singapore, the security of digital data such as intellectual property are but a growing concern for many businesses regardless of industry. Karaoke chain K Box was fined $50,000 while warnings were issued to organisations like Challenger Technologies, Singapore Computer Society and Yes Tuition Agency.

Since the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) came into full effect July 2014, organizations face additional stress in having to ensure for sufficient security measures to protecting consumers’ personal data. In K Box’s case, their insufficient security measures led to leaking of member details after their database was hacked.

How then, can your organisation ensure that you have the correct, effective security system in place to protect your digital assets and intellectual property so that you don’t end up like the mentioned companies? We share a few tips with you:

1) Assess all possible risks

Make a thorough assessment of both the obvious and the latent security and privacy risks. Question aspects that could go wrong, how likely the occurrence may be, and the consequences of such instances. Knowing your potential risks would already make you better prepared for it.

2) Decide on appropriate solutions depending on the threats

Data encryption, digital certificates, passwords and passphrases, and the authentication of external clients are some common security methods in place. What works best is dependent on your organisation and the circumstances the company is in. File encryption is often the first level security of choice to protect digital assets from prying eyes. Effective real time online monitoring also helps to repel threats as soon as they occur. Determine the level of safety required before deciding what your choice of security solution should be.

3) Identify critical assets

Digital data at a global rate is growing at an exponential pace, and so will the digital records of your company. Protecting every digital record the same way would be neither possible nor worthwhile. It’s wise to identify intellectual property records and all other critical assets from records that are of lesser importance, and apply enhanced levels of protection for these to ensure that nothing important gets hacked or leaked. Options include military grade encryption and silo storage, among others. A good security solution will combine effective methods suitable for your organisation and the type of data to be managed.

4) Implement a digital continuity plan

Businesses have business continuity plans to ensure that in case of any disasters, they will be prepared to face it. Similarly for your digital assets, the risk of a major hacking or attack on data will always be present. While security systems like FinalCode can help mitigate that risk to a minimal with their persistent file security solutions, it’s still advisable to have a digital continuity strategy in place. Within that plan, the organisation should also document access rights and responsibilities, which helps to track and identify any malicious insiders.

5) Remember that digital assets can be physical too

Just because your records are in digital form doesn’t mean you should underestimate their physical forms. The servers or the discs holding the digital assets are also susceptible to the risks that paper documents face, and require the same level of measures that include protection against access controls, temperature and humidity. While online security solutions can go so far to guard your digital assets, you too are responsible for ensuring your physical ones are protected.

Deploying effective security measures should never be regarded as a one-off activity. Effective security entails resourceful management of digital policies that comprises reviewing sensitive and critical documents on a proactive basis, overviewing the latest threat levels, and periodically reviewing the security deployments in place. Have you got your security in place?