Five low-tech ways to keep your business IT safe

By: John McGarvey

Date: 10 July 2014

Flooded office in Windsor, UK{{}}

A flooded office in Windsor, Feb 2014. Image: Steve Mann / Shutterstock.com

IT security experts talk a lot about avoiding viruses and spyware. In the wake of the GOZeuS malware issue, you can't move for advice on how to avoid phishing.

But although a lot of IT security advice tends to focus on issues like these, there are many less high-tech threats to your business IT.

For instance, according to research from Inhance Technology, over 20% of people are more worried about being mugged for their smart phone or tablet than they were a year ago.

So, in the race to keep your devices free of viruses and your servers locked down from hackers, are you neglecting the more basic precautions?

As a reminder, here are five ways to protect your servers, computers and mobile devices from the low-tech threats that can damage your business:

  1. Label everything. Sticky labels aren't going to deter many criminals. But they might help get items back if they get lost, or if the police recover them. Keep a record of the serial number for every piece of hardware too. Learn more about asset tracking.
  2. Don't be obvious. When you issue mobile devices to staff, encourage them to carry them discreetly. For instance, don't give staff laptop bags that scream 'steal me'. Instead, keep laptops inside foam sleeves that can be carried in ordinary bags.
  3. Lock things up. Don't leave laptops or other portable equipment lying around in your office. Operate a locked-drawer policy, requiring employees to lock away laptops or any other valuable devices when they go home for the evening.
  4. Keep servers off the ground. It's not just businesses on flood plains that should be wary of water. Burst pipes can cause damage anywhere. To minimise risks to servers, keep them off the ground and — ideally — locate them on or above the first floor.
  5. Be wary of public places. Make sure employees don't work on confidential documents or have sensitive phone calls in public places. The last thing you want is for a competitor to overhear your plans on the 1846 train home. (Yes, it does happen.)

Have you been caught out by any low-tech security issues? Leave a comment to let us know.

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