It is surprising for many people to learn that so-called “low-tech” data management (or hard-copy file management) has many risks associated with it. Here are three major threats you should know to keep your funeral home’s data as safe and secure as possible.
Threat #1: Storage of your hard-copy documents.
What would happen if your hard-copy files were stolen today? Or, what could happen if these files were suddenly lost and there was no way to get them back?
These two cases may seem extreme, but in today’s world, you are taking on a large risk if you manage or maintain hard copy files with sensitive or critical information.
Other risks for hard-copy data loss include:
- Water damage
- Burglary or theft
- Natural disasters
- Mismanagement (files simply misplaced or lost)
Knowing just how important some of these files are to your business, be sure you are treating them that way. Generally speaking, when you have multiple people involved in the storage of hard copies of information, the amount of risk to which you are exposed increases.
What you can do? Consider storing data safely and securely in the cloud. For those documents you must keep in hard-copy format, be sure you have strict policies about how many hard-copy documents should exist. This approach can cut down on unnecessary copies of documents with private information being reproduced.
Secondly, and just as important — be sure only authorized people have access to the documents at any time. Furthermore, they should only have access to documents for a specific amount of time. This can cut down on the risk of sensitive information being stolen at your funeral home. Consider security and surveillance to be sure you are doing your best to protect these documents.
Threat #2: Transferring data or documents.
What is your funeral home’s method of transferring important forms and paperwork?
Fax machines, which many firms have as a part of their all-in-one-printers, are a huge threat to data security. Many people think of faxing as safe and secure, but it is neither safe nor secure. In fact, fax machines are very vulnerable to attack.
Beyond faxing, another potential threat to your business’ data is a lack of encrypted HTTPS connections. You want to use HTTPS by default whenever you are using the Internet. If not, your login credentials can be intercepted, allowing cyber criminals the ability to log into sites and potentially do greater damage. By not using HHTPS, you can potentially provide access to your server and all information connected to it — not to mention it may increase the chance for a phishing attack based on information uncovered.
Be sure your business’ website offers encrypted HTTPS connections to visitors. That means when they visit your site, it will be secure and much more difficult for their personal information to be stolen. Second, be sure that your employees use HTTPS when browsing the web and when sharing any information online.
Threat #3: Disposing of hard-copy documents.
It is also important to know how—and when—a physical document will be destroyed. One major way data breaches occur is simply by human error. This can happen when people cut corners when destroying documents or simply don’t realize how dangerous it can be if they do not properly dispose of hard-copy documents.
To reduce that risk with your physical documents, be sure all employees are aware of your protocols for disposing of records.
Other steps you can take include:
- Make sure someone leads the document disposing/destroying process;
- Keep an up-to-date inventory of all your physical documents;
- Educate all staff on your document retention protocols;
- Make sure staff are equipped with the right tools to shred/destroy documents appropriately.
For more information on risk management or funeral home business insurance, Please contact our insurance specialists at 845-986-1177 to learn more. We are your business, home, auto, and life insurance solutions provider, partner, and adviser, serving Warwick, Greenwood Lake, Florida, Goshen, Pine Island, Middletown, Chester, Monroe, Newburgh, Orange County, and the Hudson Valley and Tri-State Area.
For a free funeral home insurance quote, review, and consultation, please click here.