Lock Down Your Laptops to Keep Trouble at BayPosted by
Laptops are great for getting things done, both at your desk and out on the road, but it’s important to ensure that they’re safe and secure.
Every time you pick up a laptop and walk out of the office, stop to consider whether you’re also carrying sensitive business information out the door. Likewise, when you return to the office you need to think about whether you’re unwittingly bringing security threats into the building.
The first step to securing your laptops is to ensure that they’re protected with a password, to keep your business data safe from prying eyes. Not only should a password be required when booting up the computer, but you’ll also want to ensure that the screensaver is set to kick in when the laptop is idle and that a password is required to unlock it.
Windows computers tend to grant full Administrator rights to the default user, but that’s an unnecessary security risk that makes it easier for viruses and other malware to get a foothold.
Instead you should only grant staff members Standard User rights on their computers, which lets them run applications but stops them installing anything without the Administrator password. Standard User rights shouldn’t stop your people from getting their work done, but it will hamper malware trying to secretly install itself in the background.
If your people are regularly taking sensitive documents out of the office then it might be worth investing in a secure document management system that is designed to work with your desktops, laptops and mobile devices. Some securely store documents on your devices, while others keep everything in the cloud.
Along with offering an extra layer of security – including encrypted lockers, data backup and remote wipe options – document management systems can also support collaboration features to help your people to work as a team whether they’re on opposite sides of the office or opposite sides of the world.
There’s no magic bullet when it comes to security; it’s best to take a layered approach. Even if you’ve limited your staff to Standard User rights on their laptops, it’s still important to use a security suite that includes antivirus and a firewall. Spam filtering can also help with security, as it doesn’t just filter out annoying messages, but can also block some malicious emails and attachments before they can do any harm.
While you’re locking down your devices, don’t forget about the old-fashioned security threats such as someone peering over your shoulder while you’re working away from the office. If this is a concern you might invest in privacy filters for your laptop screens, which make it extremely difficult for people to see what’s on the screen unless they’re sitting directly in front of the computer.
While you’re beefing up your security you should also think about physical security. Most notebooks come with a security slot that lets you attach a security cable with a key or combination lock, to ensure the notebook stays put whether you’re working in the office or out and about. You’ll also want a sturdy carry case to ensure your laptop survives the rough and tumble of life on the road.
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