With the aggrandized use of tech at work, employers are increasingly concerned about the protection of their firm’s data—data that’s the driving tool of all modern-day businesses. But, with the proliferation and advancement of technology, data protection has become a growing concern for employers as most of the times their own employees are involved in such incidents.
The value of Data
In the business world, data consists of facts, trends, and statistical numbers. There is a data-driven environment in the modern business market. Historical/current data helps in breaking down the problems and resolving them in a better way. Without data, an organization can never assess its current performance as well as its future growth. Data is the only way to improve the processes of a business.
Can you tell who your consumers are? How can you tell if your customers like your product or services? How can you estimate your income and expenses? Without data, you can never answer these questions. Thus, data helps in running a business in an effective way with detailed guidance.
Why does an employer need to monitor employees?
For any organization, data protection has become a rising concern. A recent study revealed that on average, three data security incidents are occurring per week. The outsider data threats to an organization are still higher than insider threats. But, it is important to note here that recent research shows that 27% of the data theft attacks were from the employees of the organizations.
According to the Ponemon Institute research, on average, data theft incidents by employees cost businesses $8.76 million per business in 2018.
Data theft has become an easy task for employees as we are living in the advanced technological age. Therefore, organizations need to ensure advanced security measures for data protection. One of the key strategies for data protection is employee monitoring. The cost of data loss is so high that organizations cannot take any risk. Employee monitoring helps the employees in keeping track of their activities and anomalous behavior. Before any incident, an organization can protect its data by monitoring the employees.
Why do employees take away data?
There are many reasons for an employee to take away company data. Employees steal important documents or files of the company to get financial benefits. Sometimes, employees take away companies’ data out of anger. The employees pass confidential information to the competitors just to take revenge from the company. Most of the data theft incidents are reported by the employees when they are leaving. The research shows that 85% of the employees admitted that they took companies data and documents they had created at the time of quitting. Whereas, 30% of employees admitted, while leaving the job, they took the files and data of the company they had not created themselves.
What do you need to monitor for data protection?
Telephone calls and voice mails
Employers can record telephone calls and voicemails to ensure data protection. The telephonic communication of employees needs to be monitored through their personal (during work) as well as official devices. Looking into employee phone calls could lead to identifying any anomalous activity. For example, you can record the number of calls and the duration of each call made by the company’s mainline. If there is a specific pattern in the calls of a specific employee, you can analyze it thoroughly by listening to the call recordings. However, it is necessary for you to set some limits in monitoring employees to ensure the privacy of your employees, which is their basic right!
E-mail and text communications
Electronic communication in the workplace has many advantages. It is the most effective way of communication among employees and between an organization and its customers. However, the use of e-mail, voicemail, and internet has brought a number of workplace issues. The misuse of electronic communication media by the employees causes risks for breaches of data security. To secure trade secrets and the confidential data of customers, employers must monitor electronic communication of their employees. You must keep in mind the discoverability of e-mail monitoring, therefore, an employee monitoring app that works in 100% stealth mode is a better option for data protection.
Some employers don’t focus on monitoring the internet usage of the employees because it doesn’t involve any “communication.” However, monitoring employee for data protection does include keeping track of internet usage. Employers mostly restrict specific websites in the workplace during working hours. While data theft incidents, mostly occur when the employees leave. So, there is a need for monitoring team to spy on the employees, even when after working hours. It is necessary to monitor the visits of employees to the competitors’ websites. The most effective way is to monitor “keyword searches” by the employees. In this way, any unusual behavior by a certain employee can be taken care of beforehand.
Video surveillance or monitoring is another effective way to monitor employees’ activities. Employers mostly use it to control employee misconduct. Recent research reported that 52% of the sensitive information shared in data theft incidents came from the employee computer screens. Video monitoring helps in collecting evidence of the crime against a particular employee. The employer has to decide whether the cameras will be placed in the public or private, whether the sound has to be recorded along with the video monitoring, and whether the camera will be in open view or hidden.
Location of employees
Location monitoring is another effective tool for data protection which involves the employers keeping track of the location and movement of the employees using the GPS. The employers can use non-intrusive employee monitoring app like Xnspy to track the location of the employee by accessing his mobile phone. As an employer, you can set boundaries and get alerts whenever your employee tries to cross those limits. The interesting thing is that your employees aren’t going to know that you are following them as most of such monitoring applications work in stealth mode. These technologies help in developing secure workplace environment by minimizing data theft risks.
Establishing a monitoring policy
Employers must establish and distribute a monitoring policy clearly mentioning that employee call, messages, e-mails, internet use, and company-owned devices are subject to monitoring. You must specify in the policy that monitoring can occur at any time, and for any reason. You must sign a written acknowledgment from all the employees that they have read and understand the policy. As an employer, you must understand the legal restrictions on employee monitoring. While protecting the data, the employer may cross the boundaries. So, it is important for employees and employers to understand the rules of monitoring employees.
Employee monitoring assists in data protection. Keeping track of the employees at work helps in identifying any unusual behavior. Recording phone calls, monitoring electronic communication, video surveillance, and location tracking by using an advanced employee monitoring app helps in maximizing data protection. While protecting against data theft risks, the employers must balance the business interest and the privacy of their employees by developing a fair monitoring policy.