Protecting Business Data from Your Employees

Protecting Business Data from Your Employees

By Holly Wainwright

In the wake of the IRS Tea Party Scandal, investigators have been looking for answers as to why the government agency allegedly targeted conservative “tea party” groups and subjected the groups to extreme scrutiny as they were applying for tax-exempt status. During the investigation, thousands of emails were mysteriously lost causing an outcry. It all seems a bit too convenient, right?

In a recent development, the IRS is casting the blame for those missing emails on their employees. According to the IRS, there’s no elaborate conspiracy but rather just plain old carelessness. The claim is that the employees erased thousands of emails - impeding the congressional investigation.

So, did the IRS employees delete thousands of emails knowingly? Could they be as inept as this article suggests? Or was this intentional? Either way, the lesson is clear - the employees working at your company have access to a lot of data and if ANY of that data could potentially be sensitive (financial information, growth projections, product info, etc), then your organization needs to seriously evaluate how the company is going about protecting that information.

The security industry likes to remind companies that it’s not a matter of if your company will one day be hacked but when. The same can be true of employees and your data. At one point, whether it’s a year, five years or ten years down the line, an employee will lose critical information. In fact, human error is the leading cause of data loss at large sites.

Does your company have the right backup strategy in place? Whether you simply can’t afford the cost to re-create critical data or compliance regulations a concern, data loss is not an option for most businesses. If, for example, your company is increasingly moving more data to the cloud (think are you using a third party cloud-to-cloud backup solution to ensure your organization always has access to a secure, second copy of your company’s critical information?

There are several lessons to be learned from the IRS/Tea Party scandal but one critical takeaway to implement is making sure your company has the right backup protection from your own employees!

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