We all have information, both at work and in our personal lives, which we require easy access to at the drop of a hat. It's simple to assume therefore this information is best kept at our side at all times. Look in your wallet as a perfect example of this. I'd guess you carry bank cards, National Insurance information, loyalty cards, addresses and a driving licence? Keeping this all at arms length is convenient, but may leave you quite vulnerable should you lose it. Although a pain to replace, it's fairly straightforward to apply for a new driving licence or phone your bank to cancel your cards. Mismanage your information at work however and the retrieval might not be so straightforward.
We conducted research recently which found most IT professionals believe giving access to information is an art rather than a science. Much like in our personal lives, at work we still feel most at ease when we can see and touch information. However this is far from the most secure way of managing it.
Think about what is on your desk at work right now. It's likely there is confidential information on it - perhaps a presentation, contract or invoices. Although you may like having this information to hand, think how vulnerable it could be to the company you work for should it fall into the wrong hands. With 'paper light' offices growing in popularity and the security of information a top priority for working environments of all sizes, your employer should be thinking about a more secure way of storing sensitive information, which still allows you the access you require.
Organisations are adopting a blended approach to information storage, combining offsite access to documents via digitisation technologies and cloud solutions. This allows secure access controlled by the business to ensure employers and their staff harness the full value of information whilst keeping it safe.
Workplaces are becoming more sophisticated in their approach to information security and more aware of the rising level of threats they face, so it is vital to tackle the compulsion we feel to keep information at arms length. You wouldn't carry your entire life in your handbag or briefcase, so don't expect your business to let you treat your work station as such.