Nine tips for enhancing your data security

Learning Stream takes data security seriously, and we constantly review our procedures and capabilities to make sure we stay ahead of the curve.  However, the exposure worldwide of personally identifiable information and other data is more often the result of human error than cyberattacks. No matter what software you use, many human-related security breaches can be prevented with a few basic measures:

  1. Do not leave your login credentials in an accessible area. This may seem a very elementary part of data security, but we have all done it one time or another. This doesn’t only mean don’t write your password on the dry erase board in the conference room. It also means don’t paste a sticky note with your credentials on the corner of your monitor.
  2. Do not share your login credentials with anyone else. Only authorized users should have access to software that contains personal information, even if it’s data securityjust names and email addresses. Though you may have shared your login information with someone you trust, you can’t control what they do with it or who they share it with later.
  3. Change your credentials periodically. Do this more than just when you think your password may have been compromised. If your login credentials are older than the dirty sneakers you wear to work in the yard, it’s time to change your password. And don’t use “password,” “abc12345,” your birthdate, street address, etc. Make it something no one could easily guess.
  4. Disable old user accounts. If someone leaves your organization or program, immediately disable their user account. As mentioned earlier, even if they left on good terms and you made them the godparent of your child, you don’t know who else may have gotten their password.
  5. Control what users can access. Like Learning Stream, most software systems give you the ability to control the level of user access.  It should be considered a basic component of data security. For example, you can block a user’s access to reports, or to a particular set of reports.
  6. Don’t leave printouts lying around. This is an all-too-common source of data vulnerability. Data is usually safe as long as it’s online and protected by a series of security features. But then someone exports an Excel file and prints it out. They leave the printout where anyone can find it, such as the copier room.
  7. Purge data that is no longer necessary. Organizations responsible for reporting to government agencies, for example, must retain continuing education data for a certain number of years. However, many other organizations retain data on individuals long after it has any use. If you do not need personal data, purge your system of it at regular intervals.
  8. Check audit logs. In Learning Stream, every user account includes an audit log that allows administrators to monitor what actions the user performed, as well as the IP address used to access the software.
  9. Limit access by IP address. If the information contained in your Learning Stream account is particularly sensitive, you may limit the range of IP addresses used to access it. For example, a particular user account may only be able to log into the software via the company’s secure wireless network. The user could not access the account from the Starbucks down the street or anywhere else not included in the IP range.

Whether it regards your use of the various tools in Learning Stream or any enterprise software tool, these common-sense steps can help you limit your vulnerability, which could save significant headaches and costs later. To discuss further how you can protect your Learning Stream data, contact us.