Is your commercial business secure? You have building security in place.  Your parking lot has security cameras.  You have established a firewall to protect your data.  Did you know that your employee’s desk maybe a huge hole in your commercial security?

Here is what a security company found when they did an afterhours check of their employee’s desks and their suggestions for plugging these security holes.

Writing passwords on sticky notes.  Employees may have a difficult time keeping track of all of their passwords, writing that information down on a piece of paper and leaving it out for all eyes to see is never a good idea. Keep in mind that after the office closes, many strangers can access the work space. One can never tell when a person might try and use employee passwords to compromise an account.

Writing sensitive information on a white board.  Staff often brainstorm together and write down their ideas on a whiteboard. Several offices here at CSO had whiteboards. We found one with client names and billing information written on it. The information would have been very valuable to any potential competitors. After a work session, employees should put information in a less obvious place and put it away after hours. Advise staff to erase all whiteboards regularly.

Leaving sensitive documents on the desk. Also on several desks, we spotted detailed client contracts with billing terms. Like the whiteboard, the information might be valuable to competition. But depending on who views it, the client’s information might also be used for ill-gotten gains. Any documents with sensitive data belong in a locked drawer. Bottom of Form

Leaving a calendar or day planner out on a desk.  One day planner we found contained private sales-related information. But a calendar might also contain the agenda or travel itinerary of a member of the staff. Depending on the company, that staff member (an executive, for instance) might be a potential target. All calendars and day planners should be locked up or taken out of the office at the end of the day.

Leaving an access card out. We found one desk with an access card hidden under a keyboard. That’s not much better than leaving it in plain sight – it’s like putting your house key under the welcome mat, the first place a thief will look. Access cards are used to protect staff from an unwanted intrusion. If an access card gets into the wrong hands, it can allow unauthorized people to roam around freely. Staffers should keep possession of their cards at all times.

Forgetting the printer.  The printer in our office had several vendor contracts discarded in a pile of papers. After staff finish with printing jobs, they need to be mindful of any documents that were printed, even the ones that aren’t needed, and dispose of them appropriately.

Do a check on your employee’s desks for security holes in  your commercial security. Then incorporate polices to plug the holes.