How secure is your business hardware?
Most of the bold, splashy headlines over the past 5 years have highlighted data breaches at multi-national companies.
What has gotten lost in the justifiable rush to prevent hackers from accessing private, sensitive data is the protection of the actual computers themselves.
While your business might have a cyber security strategy in place, do you have a protection strategy for your business hardware?
Safeguard your computers and electronic devices by developing a strategy for dealing with these three types of threats:
- Outside intrusion. Don’t get surprised by thieves who pay your actual physical place of business a visit. There are various options for locking an electronic device to a desk or building structure. Also be sure to consult with a reputable information technology expert to discuss options for protecting and encrypting sensitive data. This will make it difficult for thieves to gain access to your devices if they ever do get swiped.
- Inside intrusion. Computer problems can arise from a fired or disgruntled employee, or even from carelessness by current employees. The solution is a combination of sound policies and procedures, combined with regular data backups. Policies should spell out the rights and responsibilities of each employee, and make clear what is expected of them. They should cover access to computer records, privacy issues, and personal use of computers and e-mail. Procedures should focus on protection and changing of passwords. Implement clear procedures to follow when an employee with computer access is fired or quits.
- Physical damage. Don’t overlook the more mundane risk of physical damage to your computers. This can range from failure of a hard drive, to a fire or other natural disaster. Your primary defense is to make daily backups of your data, which you keep in a protected location, preferably offsite. Run practice drills to make sure you can quickly restore lost data from your backup system. Backups may be useless if it takes days to recover the data on them. If your business depends on time-sensitive computer data, consider buying spare machines as backups. The expense may be relatively small relative to the costs to your business of a computer failure.
You can’t afford to take your business computers for granted. Take the time now to think through the consequences of computer hardware theft or failure and put a plan in place.
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