3 Ways to Keep Employees from Saving Files to Their Devices
by Stephanie Faris on Monday, January 15, 2018 11:15
A device's hard drive can be a liability for a business, especially if employees regularly save documents to that drive.
If a piece of equipment is lost or stolen, someone can access the data on it, which could include customer information or files your company would rather keep secret from competitors.
Even if your equipment stays safely between your office walls, someday you'll dispose of it, putting your data at risk if traces remain.
The best way to safeguard your business data is for employees to save everything to a network drive, where you can use top security tools to keep it hidden. But you'll likely find that no matter what you do, it's impossible to keep every employee from eventually saving a file to the hard drive, whether intentionally or accidentally. Here are three steps you can take to reduce your business's risk.
The best place to start is to put your stance on saving files into writing. This should be presented to employees either through a security agreement you have them sign or in your general business policies and procedures manual. This policy should detail the drive that has been designated for each worker to use for saving files and state the reason for requiring files to be saved here, which is to keep the business secure. Employees should also understand that if items are not saved to the network drive, they stand to lose those files if their device should crash.
Technology is the closest thing you'll find to a fail-proof plan for directing employee files. Even this won't be completely without error, but it will at least ensure the majority of your team's files are stored on the server. Make sure the user's applications (Word, Excel, etc.) are set to automatically save to the appropriate drive. You can also hide the C drive on each individual computer, although this can cause problems for laptops and other portable devices that are regularly used outside of the office. Make sure your employees have the tools they need to do their work while also keeping your network safe.
Your IT team is the best resource for keeping your network safe at the end user level. As they resolve help desk tickets and interact with employees through training and other outlets, make sure they note how these device users are saving files. Have them remind employees that saving their documents to the network is the only way to ensure they're backed up regularly, as they notice employees saving to the desktop or the C drive. When exchanging an old computer for a new one, move the files employees have saved to the device to the network drive and point them out to the worker.
In addition to encouraging workers to save files to the network, businesses can also keep their networks safe by engaging in safe hard drive disposal. National Computer Warehouse Services specializes in hard drive shredding and degaussing, which will keep your data safe as you recycle your old equipment.