The world of field services has evolved to accommodate the Technologies of the changing times. But these changes come with its bundle of disadvantages too. This statement holds true for any industry, and the domain of field services is not an exception to this Golden Rule.
The Evolution of Field Service & the Possibility of Threats:
The world of field services management has evolved a lot, especially in the past 10 years. The organizations and the businesses have come to understand that they do not have to employ all their talents in their workplace, and also that they might not always need to hire all the talents that they would require. As much as this has opened new avenues, it has also opened parallel threats.
All the people who work in your workplace might not be your employees, and those people might have access to some of the most confidential data that you intend to safeguard. The employees of your company might not always be there in your workplace, and their devices might be subject to some kind of a security threat.
To garnish this state, the Startup Culture has also brought about a few concepts like BYOD, and even the mainstream companies encourage people to sync their official email and documents with their personal mobile devices. This further increases the possibility of the security breach, and we know it is quite imminent considering the fact that data is the most expensive and profitable asset in today’s world!
With the advent of devices that incorporate the Internet of Things, the possibility of security breaches has only increased. However, it has to be understood that not all security breaches are impulsive. Most of them are planned and well-executed, and if anything is planned and executed, it has to follow a pattern.
There are multiple ways in which we can prevent a security breach in the domain of field services.
How to stop Security Breaches?
- Educate – There is no better weapon to stop the security breaches done than by educating the staff about the implications and the repercussions of any violation. If the field staff is aware of the possibly poisonous sweet-talks that people can engage in to gain access to any confidential data, they will be extra-careful and this will prevent any security breaches. This step may fall outside the scope of Technology, but a breach is a breach, irrespective of the channel that was used.
- Systemize –There is a certain pattern of normal usage of devices, and anything that is outside the pattern defined by a considerable magnitude might be a good indicator of a possible breach of security. While it might not be an explicit Red flag, it is something that will open the eyes of the security personnel to keep an extra-cautious eye on that particular device.
- Prioritize security – There are certain cases in which you cannot just prevent a breach of security. In these situations, it would be a great idea to make data less accessible and more difficult to penetrate. Using the right level of encryption of data, especially for the ones that are sensitive, could be of great help in securing the data even after a possible breach.
- Go The Extra Step – It might be frustrating for the user to engage in a two-step authentication. However, like Armstrong would say, this one small step for the user is a giant leap in terms of security. People with malicious intentions always find it difficult to crack the second layer of security – the probability of cracking both the walls of security decreases not linearly but exponentially. Most of the experts would agree that the two-step authentication is one of the easiest ways to secure your data, especially in the world of the Internet of Things.
- Understand the possible backdoors – Irrespective of the size of the service that holds the data – be it that of a small startup or that of the National Security Agency, there are certain points of vulnerability. The key here is to stay ahead of the so-called smart people who think they can break in. If you have secured your weakest point, then it can be assumed very safely that the less-vulnerable places have a less possibility of a threat.
- Stay up to date – It’s quite easy to break into a device that uses outdated technology, as there is not much of security-support for those technologies. It is almost similar to having a vulnerable point in your data ecosystem. Make sure that all the devices that have been given out to the employees in the field have the latest security update patches, so as to ensure there is no weak point. Additionally, decommissioning the devices that are outdated in favor of the new ones could be a great idea, but it has to be contingent upon the allotted budget. Any day it is preferable to pay the price of a new device than to pay the price of data-security being violated. When it comes to being updated, it is not just about the devices and the technologies. It is also about the passwords and the users. Make sure that there is a very stringent password policy in place so that even if a person with a malicious intention has access to a password, it might be rendered ineffective after a certain point in time. In addition to this, it is also a great practice to regularly clean up the database for an outdated user access. There might be employees who have left the company and still have access to sensitive data.
- Audit your organization – the Government has mandated that they have to do regular audits and all organizations have to establish their compliance with the laws that have been laid out by the Government. The laws like Sarbanes-Oxley, PCI and HIPAA are in place only to ensure the security of data. Even outside the requirements of the Government, it is a good practice to regularly audit your devices and data for any anomalies and features. Why should we wait for the Government and the government audit to certify our organization compliance with the security law when we ourselves can do it and be satisfied?
- Look Out & Look Around – It is often said that life is too short to make all the mistakes by yourself. It is definitely a good practice to learn from the mistakes of others. Be on the Lookout for news regarding data security breaches, and also be very aware of the development not only in the field of security but also in the field of security breaches, so you can be well-ahead in the game of securing your data.
With technology advancement, the threat from criminals and troublemakers is growing in sophistication. But on the bright side, it has also opened up a massive channel in terms of equipping ourselves against these possible threats. Service organizations that can’t provide the advantages of modern technology will lose business to competitors that can. As the technology continues to astound and advance, let us take advantage of the world of Technology, and at the same time secure ourselves against the possible vulnerabilities. Data Security ensures that we reap only the best of what the World of Technology and field services has to offer for us!
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