10 Safeguards to Ensure Physical security of your IT devices

One of the biggest threats to your data is the popular advance of Bring You Own Device (BYOD) policies and mobile workers. According to Gartner is expected that half of all businesses will have a strong need for a BYOD policy this coming year. Employees will be using their own personal devices as well as organization-issued ones both in the office while working from home or during travel time. This opens up a new level risk if devices are lost or stolen.

10 must-have tips for securing your devices

Safeguard Rule #1:  Never leave your devices unattended – not even in your workplace. Believe it or not, most of a mobile device theft occurs in the workplace during the business hours. If you have a desk that can be locked – secure devices in it even when leaving for a brief period of time.

Safeguard Rule #2:  If you must leave your laptop, tablet or phone in a vehicle, hide it in the trunk or other stowaway areas in your car before picking a final parking spot, so potential thieves would not see your hiding place. Make certain your vehicle is locked at all times while you are away.

Safeguard Rule #3:  Use a discreet form of transportation: make sure your bag, briefcase, or backpack for your computer do not bring attention to you carrying an expensive mobile device.

Safeguard Rule #4:  Protect your devices during travel, including in cars, on trains, at airports, etc. If you must leave your equipment in a hotel room, secure it in the safe before you leave the room, even if for just a short while. When flying, bring the devices with you on the airplane as a carry-on.

Safeguard Rule #5:  Require all your devices to request authentication (username and password) in order to get access to data or go online. You can also configure your laptop’s screensaver to require a password.

Safeguard Rule #6:  Protect the data stored on mobile devices. If you have sensitive documents, encrypt and password-protect them, when possible. That includes the data stored on portable storage devices such as USB or flash drives.

Safeguard Rule #7:  Do not store or display written passwords near protected devices (placing a stickie with a password under the keyboard does not fool a professional thief).

Safeguard Rule #8:  Don’t make the crooks job easy. When traveling, do not bring notes with device passwords with you.

Safeguard Rule #3:  Dispose of your used devices properly, making sure the data is properly wiped off the device before recycling PCs, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and storage devices [Where to safely Recycle Computers and Electronic Waste in New Jersey].

Safeguard Rule #10:  Consider using device anti-theft protection and data recovery software (Prey is one of the examples of available free apps).

In addition here are 3 simple rules to implement in your BYOD policy to significantly minimize security risks when it comes to portable devices.

Beef up your BYOD Policy

  • Restrict or limit employee access to and use of critical business and client data. When on the road, employees may rely on unsecured free Wi-Fi, a hacking incident waiting to happen. Do not allow employees to leave premises with your data on their personal devices.
  • Always implement and keep improving authentication methods. Authentication and security software is constantly evolving, make sure your organization stays on top of the security protocols.
  • Implement and enforce strict use policies. Disallow use of company-owned devices for personal use, or transferring company data to personal devices, especially when sharing data amongst your team members or with clients. Develop a written critical use policy, make your staff members sign it and follow it.

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