An Information Security Community
Nowadays, information and computer security are on the minds of every IT professional as statistics have shown that the number of severe data loss episodes that occur each year is increasing. Data-bearing devices, including all forms of removable media, are said to be the cause of concern for both enterprise and small businesses.
IT security experts and managers are challenged with ensuring security in the work center and having operatives implement a data-centric strategy that allows the protection of information and business infrastructure even when there are no employees around. Applying techniques for securing a network system, computers, personal-owned devices and the workplace environment to avoid data loss or theft, from both insiders (disgruntled employees) and outsiders (intruders), is paramount, these experts say.
An information leakage and data breach incident can be catastrophic for a business; it is for this reason, it’s imperative to prevent physical and digital intruders from gaining access to unprotected machines. The following are essential security tips to help overcome problems, risks and system vulnerabilities.
• The first, basic form of defense for preventing an intrusion in an office or data center is the use of alarm surveillance to control and monitor access. It is definitely worth the investment, as it can offer the level of physical security and protection that can prevent an unauthorized access to digital and paper-based printed confidential information. Alarms are especially important in areas where sensitive material and classified equipment are kept. Businesses need to protect equipment and resources by placing the work environment under tight access control and surveillance.
• Establish a security policy plan (with procedures) for operative to use and follow anytime there is a prolonged office closure. A step-by-step outline of all actions or a guide can be created to help prevent oversights.
• Use necessary security tools, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems, to protect the data stored on the corporate network. Even when employees are not actually in the office, it is important IT personnel can still be alarmed of any threats to their systems.
• Provide encryption to secure data stored on devices. Cryptographic tools are available for both computers and mobile devices.
• Make use of authentication before granting authorization. In addition to controlling physical access to a computer, it is important that digital access to data is also protected.
• Usage of an embedded fingerprint and smart card reader can also be used to maintain a high-level of authentication and security. Such devices are apt for single sign-on (SSO) to safeguard networks, computer systems and devices.
• Do not allow sensitive data to be left in the open, when unsecured and unencrypted. File or remove the material in question to a safe, secure place until it’s needed. And delete what’s not needed or in use.
• Shred important papers. Ensure destroying any unneeded documents containing confidential information is carried out; such material is to be handled and discarded properly. To ensure the highest level of security, it’s recommended to hire a certified paper shredding company like Shred-it to handle your confidential information destruction.
• Make sure all machines are logged off or a shutdown is performed to prevent exposure or theft of the information source.
• Always backup data, regularly. It’s the saving grace in the recovery process. Failure to do so is a guaranteed recipe for data loss. If a security breach happens, it is important to have access to a usable backup of all data.
In sum, as data leakage can happen anywhere and to anyone, businesses and individuals alike must integrate security into their standards and best practices so not to put corporate and personal data at risk of loss by an employee or theft by a hacker. Managers, IT personnel and office staff share the responsibility of making sure preventive measures are applied consistently to prevent data breach headaches.