Information transfer policy

by Nick T

Information transfer is the process of transferring information from one place to another. It can be done in many ways, such as by hand, written letter, telephone call, or email. A company's information transfer policy is a set of rules that defines what data can be transferred between companies. The policies are necessary for international businesses to protect their trade secrets and intellectual property from competitors. It states how they will use and process personal information.

This policy should be placed in contracts, agreements, forms, or other documents that both parties sign before any processing of personal data begins. It is an essential document for any company to have in place because it sets guidelines for how information should be transferred within and outside of the company, whether through email or other methods. 

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Information transfer methods

We live in a digital era where information can be easily and quickly through various devices like computers, mobile phones, tablets, etc. Many organizations have implemented the Information transfer policy to protect sensitive or confidential information from being intercepted by unauthorized third parties while transmitted over networks or stored on systems.

There are many ways to transfer data, but we will cover some of the most used methods- email and FTP.

  • Email- Email is an easy way to send small files and text messages back and forth, even if you don't have access to your computer. With this method, you need only internet access and an email client such as Outlook or Gmail.
  • FTP (file transfer protocol)- Transferring with FTP is more complicated than sending an email. Still, it's also more secure because all transfers happen in a "private" session on the server where hackers cannot intercept them on public networks.
  • Cloud-based services- Cloud services are a great way to transfer data. You can store your files in the cloud and access them anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.

Objectives:

The objectives of this policy are to ensure the safe and secure transfer of information between individuals, organizations, or countries. The main aim is to protect personal data and privacy rights. There must be a balance between the interests of individuals who want their data saved and the organization that needs to collect that information to fulfill its obligations under the law. This policy covers all forms of electronic communication, including but not limited to faxes, email messages, instant messaging services, social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, etc. Another objective is to balance the need for access and use of information and national security or public safety requirements on the other. Implementing this policy will also safeguard government-controlled information while facilitating its transfer promptly to those who require it for their work. Finally, it ensures information security and integrity, which helps maintain organizational effectiveness and efficiency by limiting operational risks.

How does it impact your business?

Trust is the most fundamental step for successful information transfers and transactions between businesses. This is due to clear communication between both the parties that will smooth the transition between the data exporter and importer. Good communication is evolved from maintaining transparency in data requirements, availability and delivering a forum for controlling escalations. If the information transfer process is documented and performed by an experienced process-driven team, it can help build trust by providing transparency with clear communication channels.
Information security is a top priority for small businesses and large corporates during the information transfer process. Here are some tips on how to keep your data safe when it needs to be transferred between systems:

  • Encrypt sensitive information before transmitting it across networks or devices
  • Make sure that two-factor authentication is enabled for all accounts with privileged access, including remote logins.
  • Require multi-factor authentication for all other sensitive accounts (or at least require strong passwords). Create firewalls between public and private networks if they're not already in place. By building high-security protocols and technologies to share data, clients will gain higher confidence and satisfaction in safely delivering their data.

    Information transfer, Information transfer policy

    Best practices to transfer data

    • Backup-It is good to have a backup to store all the critical information in case there are any issues in transferring the data. Data can be backed up in many ways on an external hard drive or thumb drive, via an online backup service, by copying the files onto another computer and saving them there, with a cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive.
    • Remove unnecessary data - this includes new fields and null values for areas that were once populated but no longer being used by your company. Delete old records to clear space.
    • Export and send all necessary files - make sure to review all relevant files included in your transfer before sending anything over. Any personnel responsible for reviewing data must adhere to the conditions of the policy and regulations.
    • Encryption- While transferring files over an unsecured network, it is essential to encrypt your files to secure the content that will require a password for access.
    • API- APIs are one of the best ways to share data amongst users. APIs are a set of rules for data transfer between two applications or platforms. These rules typically dictate what information can be passed and in what format it should be transferred.
    • Pseudonymization – This is the process of substituting or replacing a unique identifying data point with a pseudonym. The term may also refer to any technique that protects data subjects by hiding their identity from those not authorized to see it. This allows for the release of pseudonymized datasets in compliance with data protection laws and regulations.
    • Flat file- A flat file is an easy way to get files from one computer to another without any complex software or hardware needed. It is a data storage format in which one or more delimiters typically separate records, and records within a file are usually unordered. A flat-file database is the simplest form of the database management system. It does not require indexing to locate individual records Data saved in a flat file can then be exported as CSV or TXT and used in other applications like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, etc.

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