THINK ABOUT the records, legal documents, marketing data, cash, and people found inside the walls of your business. Are you doing your best to protect them?
Here are 10 things you can do right now to secure everything, from smartphones to doors. While all of these suggestions won’t apply to every company, if you work your way through this list, you’re sure to find some practical steps that you can take to protect your people and assets.
1 Secure your smartphone
What’s in your phone? Every time you slip that device out of its holster – even if it’s just for a quick game of Candy Crush – you’re holding a storehouse of personal information, and most likely, an access point into your company network. We’ve gotten so addicted to those handheld devices, but, along with the added convenience and productivity, they’ve also presented us with some heightened security risks.
Use a pin, password or pattern to lock your phone
Download apps only from trusted stores. Back up your data Keep your operating system and apps updated.
Log out of sites after you make a payment.
Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth¨ when not in use
IIIIAvoid giving out personal information.
2 Use strong passwords
A strong password policy may be inconvenient, but it’s nowhere near as inconvenient as a data breach or a network crash. A strong password:
Has 12 characters, minimum: You need to choose a password that’s long enough. There’s no minimum password length everyone agrees on, but you should generally go for passwords that are a minimum
IIof 12 to 14 characters in length. A longer password would be even better.
Includes numbers, symbols, capital letters, and lower-case letters: Use a mix of different types of characters to make the password harder to crack.
Isn’t a dictionary word or combination of dictionary words: Stay away from obvious dictionary words and combinations of dictionary words. Any word on its own is bad. Any combination of a few words, especially if they’re obvious, is also bad. For example, ‘house’ is a terrible password. ‘Red house’ is also very bad. Doesn’t rely on obvious substitutions: Don’t use common substitutions, either – for example, ‘H0use’ isn’t strong just because you’ve replaced an ‘o’ with a ‘0’. That’s just obvious.
Try to mix it up – for example,
II‘BigHouse$123’ fits many of the requirements here. It’s 12 characters and includes upper-case letters, lower-case letters, a symbol, and some numbers. But it’s fairly obvious – it’s a dictionary phrase where each word is capitalised properly. There’s only a single symbol, all the numbers are at the end, and they’re in an easy order to guess. 3 Control your keys Do you have enforceable and up-to-date key control policies? With so much attention paid to high tech threats, it’s easy to forget that those little metal keys can make you pretty vulnerable, too.
Think about how many doors in your facility are accessed via mechanical keys. Do your entry doors require only a key to open? What about file or server rooms? Do you have expensive inventory or supplies protected by lock and key?
Mechanical keys tell no tales. If inventory or supplies go missing, you may have no way to determine who unlocked the door.
4 Erase your hard drives
Before you toss out that old computer or copy machine, make sure that you erase the hard drive completely. A trashed computer is a gold mine for identity and data thieves. And many users still do not realise that their office copier stores documents on a hard drive until the files are overwritten. So unless you take the proper steps to ensure that all data have been erased from a computer or copier before it leaves your office, you may be opening the door to a security breach