Security in the workplace

When people leave their homes they lock the door. When they park the car, they lock the doors. In both situations, you are protecting yourself from loss & theft. However, within the workplace, this is where people are more careless with computers than perhaps any other thing of value in their lives. The following are some notable, less-than-bright errors that people and IT professionals commit when it comes to computer security in the workplace:

The not-so-subtle Post-it Note

Yes, those sticky yellow things can undo the most elaborate security measures. Too lazy to remember their passwords, users place them where they—and everyone else—can see them: stuck to the front of their monitors, or taped to the palm rest of the laptop. I see this on a daily basis.

We know better than you

I know that certain security measures are necessary, but not all users agree with me, which leads them to do an end-run around me. People blithely turn things off they think have a good reason to bypass, Antivirus software is an example. They think it slows down their machine. Actually it is the malware they have contracted from having no protection turned on.

Opening e-mail attachments

This one drives me nuts. “Users open all their e-mail attachments before thinking,” I tell them to be careful about opening notes and attachments from strangers or when they get the same notes from several people, even those they know.”

Poor password selection

If there’s a bugaboo among security experts, it’s poorly chosen passwords. abc123, is too easy to crack, a better one for example: “I pledge allegiance to the flag” becomes “ipa2tf.” “That’s a difficult password to break because it’s a combination of letters and numbers.

Laptops have legs

Everyone knows how common it is for laptops to be stolen in public places, but in the workplace I have noticed employees will leave his/her laptop in their office, unsecured and unattended, and in full view of passersby. Instead users should place their laptop securely out of sight, such as in a locked desk drawer.

Failing to consider the staff

I have told this to many of my clients, “Your greatest [security] threat is from in-house,” Disgruntled employees and others can cause enormous problems if they’re not properly monitored. IT departments should do a good job monitoring incidents and have the forensics capabilities to be able to follow problems to their sources.

Slow to update security information

“One thing I see all the time is that service packs are not kept up-to-date,” This creates a window of opportunity for hackers. Update, Update, Update, I cannot stress enough. It is time consuming, and at times redundant, but safe and secure is better than hacked and cracked. We all make mistakes, and sometimes in the workplace, the daily grind can tend to blur the lines of security.

Thanks for reading, and keep your PC secure and your family safer.  Remember at Hunt Technology, you always get Quality Service & Individual Attention you deserve.

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