physical loss protection on computers

By | December 30, 2020

Below are a few suggestions to help you protect your data from threats in the surrounding area. If the data on a computer system is damaged, lost, or stolen, it can lead to disaster. Protect against power disturbances. Consider carrying your laptop in something that does not look like a laptop bag. Organisations and individuals sometimes underestimate the importance of keeping their offices and equipment physically secure. However, another large element is limiting access to all or part of a system or data store to authorised users only. Consider how you destroy sensitive data when you no longer need it. When working in public, it is even more important that you take care to position your screen so that others cannot read it. Avoid running Ethernet cables outside the building to prevent those without keys from tampering with them when the building is empty. Below are a few suggestions on how to configure your software to make it less vulnerable to physical threats. Some practices, such as having a good off-site backup policy, are helpful against both digital and physical threats while others are more specific. Consult with your insurance company or local crime prevention officer for additional security advice. After evaluating the threats to which you might be vulnerable, you should consider what you are currently doing — and what additional steps you can take — to improve your physical security and the security of your information. Get to know your neighbours. Even if you are not working with a formal organisation, it is a good idea to write out guidelines and response plans for yourself and those with whom you work. Examples might include a bag forgotten on a bus, a backup drive left in an unlocked office, an untrustworthy public computer or a keen eyed neighbor looking over our shoulder. Policies related to travelling with sensitive data or software that might be seen as incriminating. Review how you secure the doors, windows and other points of entry that lead into your home or office. Accordingly, it is important to take precautions both where you live and where you work. They are also quite dangerous (even before people start "fixing" them with duct tape). Crucially, business and IT leaders need to foster a culture of security in addition to investing in technology to protect the organization, according to security experts. Few people work exclusively in their homes and offices. To help protect computers and limit the extent of the damage, most portable systems are insulated with shock absorbing material. So, a standard renters insurance policy will not cover … How to recover information from your off-site backup system. Security-in-a-Box is a project of Tactical Technology Collective and Front Line Defenders, remain anonymous and bypass censorship on the Internet, protect the sensitive files on your computer. If you learn that passwords have been stored in a document on a stolen or lost PC or laptop, or the ‘remember this password’ box has been ticked on a website, ensure any passwords are changed as soon as possible after the theft or loss. Physical Security Physical security is equally important as online security in protecting your computers, mobile devices, business and employees against crime and certain other issues. Web design gets physical … As always, be sure to choose a strong password. To prevent physical damage or theft, use a sturdy, weatherproof, padded, adequately sized conservative bag that doesn't necessarily look like a computer bag. If you often work in public, you should buy privacy filters for the devices you use. Consider where these items are physically located. Take care how you dispose of packaging that might advertise that you have new equipment. Devices like this do not always adapt well to unstable electrical power, extreme temperatures, dust, moisture, mechanical stress and other such hazards. But some organizations, distracted by the more sophisticated features of software-based security products, may overlook the importance of ensuring that the network and its components have been protected at the physical level. Fit an intruder alarm, with unique codes for each employee. By doing so, you can give visitors access to the Internet without sharing your WiFi password or allowing them to access local devices when they are in range. Like it? Dropping and causing physical damage to a laptop is not on the list of covered perils. Physical security encompasses measures and tools like gates, alarms and video surveillance cameras, but also includes another central element: an organization’s personnel. Protect computers, servers and mobile devices against data loss and unauthorised access. A crash or theft could mean the loss of family photos or a music collection. Ingram Micro did not precisely decide whether loss of computer data could con-stitute “physical loss or damage.” Rather, it seemed to say that when computer data stored in a computer is altered, a computer Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. Restrict access to sensitive areas, such as. Implement a tiered data protection and security model including multiple perimeter rings of defense to counter applicable threats. Encourage users to pick up their documents from printers, faxes, photocopiers and multi-functional devices promptly. Something possessed by the individual (a physical token such a credit, security or ID card… Keep in mind that a given piece of information might be vulnerable in a number of different ways. Sparking power strips that fall out of wall sockets and fail to hold plugs securely are quite common in some parts off the world. Below are a few suggestions related to working in public spaces: Avoid using laptops, tablets and mobile phones in public spaces unless you have reason to believe they are safe. How to contact the organisations that provide services like electrical power, water and Internet access. Fit bars or shutters to vulnerable windows. Examples might include: Emergency response procedures might include: These policy documents should be stored securely, backed up regularly and reviewed periodically to ensure that they remain up-to-date. This is particularly important because the stress and chaos of a physical security emergency can make it difficult to respond quickly and appropriately. This page covers physically protecting your equipment and data not only from theft, but also from accidental loss, fire, flood and accidental damage. You should consider this feature when purchasing hardware. Physical security is a set of security measures taken to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to equipment, resources and other assets in a facility, these measures are laid out for. Many power drills and most hammers work on hard drives. Employees with tablets and smartphones should do their best not to have them on display when out and about owing to the increasing trend of snatch robberies, sometimes involving physical violence. Get in the habit of locking your screen whenever you step away from your computer. Avoid leaving Ethernet or USB ports accessible from within these "public" areas of your office. Are you walking across town or travelling across a border? Most people think about security policies in the context of an organisation or an office, but many of the same principles apply to individuals, families and informal networks. Computers, networking equipment and data storage devices can be quite delicate. There are many things you can do to make your equipment more secure: Encourage staff to challenge unescorted strangers in secure areas. The Security Breach That Started It All. Keep your mobile devices, including your laptop, with you at all times when travelling or staying in a hotel. A careful risk assessment, a consistent effort to maintain a healthy computing environment and a written security policy can help you avoid this type of disaster. Employees should keep mobile devices with them at all times. People are often tempted to plug random storage devices into their computers so they can look for clues as to who might have lost them. Our job is to make sure your tech does its job. If they are stolen, copied or photographed, they can reveal extremely sensitive information. To keep others out of your data, the first step is to set … A policy on the use of personal devices for work. Have a ‘clear-desk’ policy so that employees lock up sensitive papers when they are not working on them. Information about access to legal support. Consider installing motion sensors or CCTV cameras around your office. How to respond to a burglary or an office raid. Geek Squad® Computer and Tablet Protection. They are particularly valuable for local servers and desktop computers that lack internal batteries. Back up data (see Backups for more information). Likewise, when it comes to IT security, physical security is the foundation for our overall strategy. Otherwise you might lock yourself out. "Buddy system" policies for travel to sensitive regions, including what to do if a colleague fails to check in as planned. Security considerations extend beyond the rooms and buildings within which you live and work. In this last case, it might be quite challenging to to determine the actual, physical location of a particular piece of information. Just as you might rely on anti-malware software to protect the contents of a USB memory stick from malware, you must rely on a detailed physical security plan to protect the same information from theft, loss or destruction. Encrypt the storage on all of your computers, tablets and smartphones. Many shredders work on CDs and DVDs as well as paper documents. Below are a few recommendations on how to protect your data within your home or office. Public spaces often have insecure wireless networks. If your computer get stole or damaged or disaster, the cost of replacing the computer might be much less than the value of the time it would take to recreate the files on the computer. Share it! Will somebody else be carrying your bag? These activities are extremely valuable, however, in part because they help ensure that small but important details are not forgotten. You can find more information on keeping mobile devices safe here. These are the sorts of questions you should consider when making decisions like this. When doing so, remember to account for windows, open doors, visitor waiting areas and other such considerations. When you find yourself with access to high-quality computer cables, surge protectors and power strips, consider picking up a few extras. A UPS will stabilise your power supply and provide temporary power in the event of a blackout. In spite of the sophisticated online methods now used by criminals, it is still easier to access your systems and data by physically doing so on your premises, or taking your devices. If possible, lock networking equipment like servers, routers, switches and modems inside a secure room or cabinet. Examples might include letters, faxes, mobile phones, land line phones, emails, Skype, social media and secure messaging platforms, to name just a few. Be vigilant about granting access to any visitors, and escort them where appropriate. Enable the lock screen on your smartphone so that people with physical access to your device cannot easily see its contents. The same is true of CCTV cameras, printers, "smart devices" and other hardware we install in and around our homes and offices. It is important that you set a strong passphrase on your wireless network so that others cannot join your network or monitor your traffic. This is a kind of social engineering. You should take every precaution to protect them against such eventualities, have a business continuity plan in place, back up all of your data off site and ensure you have adequate business insurance to cover physical losses. Veteran’s Administration (VA) incident: 26.5 million discharged veterans’ records, including name, SSN & date of birth, stolen from the home of an employee who "improperly took the material home." Paper calendars, planners, journals, address books and sticky notes are refreshingly immune to malware, but they are also impossible to encrypt. If not, they will become another entry on the list of potential threats that you need to address. Physical security is the protection of personnel, hardware, software, networks and data from physical actions and events that could cause serious loss or damage to an enterprise, agency or institution. Consider using computer locking cables on individual desktop machines and laptops. Data loss is loss of valuable and/or sensitive personal or company information on a computer due to theft, human error, viruses, malware, power failure, physical … Sharp voltage spikes are particularly dangerous and can wipe out your data. Even when a strong WiFi password has been set, other people on the same network have the ability to monitor your Internet activity and read the unencrypted data you send and receive. Many computer users, especially those who travel for business, rely on laptops and personal internet-enabled devices like smartphones and tablets because they are small and easily transported. Formulating such policies may require input from a number of different people, and maintaining them can be time consuming. Theft or loss: Computers and laptops, portable electronic devices, electronic media, paper files. They are available for laptops, external monitors, tablets and smartphones. Physically protecting computer equipment and data against damage or loss is a large element of computer security. An office access policy that addresses key distribution, CCTV cameras, alarm systems, cleaning contracts and other such considerations. Criminal and political attacks are often difficult to distinguish, and attempts to obtain sensitive data often look like attempts to steal valuable hardware. Not all power strips contain surge protectors, so you should check for this when outfitting your home or office. On some level, all of these "things" are computers, and they come with many of the same risks. When setting up your wireless network, consider giving it a name that does not clearly identify you, your organisation or the location of the access point. 10 ways to prevent computer security threats from insiders Whether via the spread of malware, spyware or viruses, insiders can do as much damage as outside attackers. First, you should configure your computer so that it will not boot from the USB device, CD-ROM or DVD drives. The precise steps required to secure a wireless network will depend on your access point, but you should look for a WPA2 password setting and, if necessary, review the Tactics Guide on how to create and maintain strong passwords. Locking Cables. How to perform certain key emergency repairs. Don't get stuck with a big repair bill if the unexpected happens to your computer or tablet. In the absence of “physical loss or damage,” property insurance does not respond. Consider travelling with a security cable and practice finding workspaces near objects to which you can attach one. Your policy document should provide general guidelines for you, for those with whom you work and, if relevant, for newcomers to your organisation. If you want to secure your computer and its files from theft or disaster, you need to consider the physical security of the system unit and the files in it. In each case, make sure you know whether or not the data are encrypted and who has access to the keys and passwords needed to decrypt them. If it behaves poorly with lamps, lights and fans, you might want to think twice before using it to power your computers. It should also provide a checklist of actions to take in response to various potential incidents. Use locking security cables, where possible, to prevent intruders from stealing desktop and laptop computers. Who should be notified if sensitive information is disclosed or misplaced. Below are a few additional suggestions: Avoid placing important hardware in easily accessible locations like hallways and reception areas or next to windows. Introduction to Physical Security. Unfortunately, such devices are a common source of malware. See the Basic Security Tool Guides for Windows and Linux for more detail. Computer security is one of the most important issues in organizations which cannot afford any kind of data loss. Physical security measures can consist of a broad spectrum of methods to deter potential intruders, which can also involve methods based on technology. When moving into a new building, try to test the power supply before plugging in important equipment. The 14 best ways to protect your computers No need for pricey, complex security systems; a few simple checks and management policies will have major impact By Roger A. Grimes Most people think about locks, bars, alarms, and uniformed guards when they think about security. Be wary of any USB memory sticks you might find lying about. With a little bit of planning and thought however, the risks can be reduced or even eliminated. Data security is about keeping data safe and affects anyone relying on a computer system. This includes protection from fire, flood, natural disasters, burglary, theft, vandalism and terrorism. Electrical fluctuations like power surges, blackouts and brownouts can cause physical damage to computers and other digital devices by harming electronic components or destroying data on hard drives. If you work with paper documents or leave physical notes for yourself, be conscious of what information is accessible at your desk. If you rely on a password manager to remember the login and BIOS passwords for a particular computer, as discussed in the Tactics Guide on how to create and maintain strong passwords, make sure you keep a copy of that password database on a different device. You may not think of this as physical security, but an attacker who is able to join your wireless network has the same access as one who is able to sneak into your office and connect an Ethernet cable. Keep a fire extinguisher suitable for use with electrical equipment, near your IT equipment. Additional advice for laptop, tablet & smartphone users. 5. Both criminals and politically motivated attackers may have reasons to target your data. Position your computer screen to prevent others from reading what is displayed there. With a lot happening on the web, it becomes an utmost need to secure the content from loss and interception as there hovers a constant vision of malice to disrupt the web world security. If you run any servers in your office, work with whoever maintains them to ensure that the information they contain will be encrypted if they are turned off or unplugged. All rights reserved. You will also be leaving them open for infection with various kinds of malware – without the criminal needing online access. Encrypt your hard drives The first step is to implement full-disk encryption on each one of your company’s PCs. In other cases, attackers create them intentionally and "drop" them near the home or office of a target organisation or individual. For additional information, see the Tactics Guides on how to protect the sensitive files on your computer and on how to use smartphones as securely as possible. 1. In order to create a useful security policy, you will first need to assess the risks and vulnerabilities you face by evaluating the various ways in which your information might be lost or compromised and considering the impact if it is: Consider the communication channels you use and how you use them. If you live with other people or share an office with another organisation, talk to them about security. Criminals also often masquerade as suppliers – for example an IT engineer or utility company representative. What steps to take if a device is lost or stolen. Losing your computer (or having it stolen) is one of those things you would rather not think about. In the broadest of terms, user authorisation within any security system can be verified via one three means: 1. Use CCTV to deter intruders and record incidences of criminal activity. We do a lot of work to protect the information that lives on or passes through our digital devices. They could be in the office, at home, in someone's luggage, in a recycling bin out back or, increasingly, "somewhere on the Internet." When working in an environment like this, you should use a virtual private network (VPN) or the Tor Browser to prevent these attacks. Information about travel insurance, if relevant. If your smartphone, tablet or laptop has a "Find my Device" feature, consider activating it so that you can locate the device or remotely wipe its contents should it be lost, stolen or confiscated. If your power supply is particularly unstable, you might also need a power filter or a line conditioner. Having a well documented place to start can help prevent this sort of paralysis. But you should always think twice before connecting new equipment to your home or office network. Ensure your employees use padded bags to carry their laptops and, where feasible, tablets. Try to use electrical sockets and plugs that have ground lines. There are a number of steps you can take to help reduce the risk of physical intrusion. Who to contact in the event of a fire, flood, or other natural disaster. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. A policy on securely disposing of paper rubbish that contains sensitive information. You can prevent physical damage to desktop computers by arranging the equipment so it is stable on a desk or floor and cannot fall or be knocked over. Even when the driver is in the vehicle, their device could be vulnerable when stationary (for example, whilst parking or at traffic lights). If it behaves poorly with lamps, lights and fans, you should consider when decisions. Software to make sure to choose a strong password, as well as paper documents them appropriate... Software that might advertise that you or a line conditioner Presidential directive PDD-63 may. Afford any kind of data loss your computers and limit the extent of the damage, most portable are... And equipment physically secure important information from your off-site backup system way to reach on... Are you walking across town or travelling across a border wary of any USB memory you! Do this quickly and appropriately Ethernet or USB ports accessible from within these `` things '' are computers networking... 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( see Backups for more detail surge protectors, so that employees lock up papers! Areas of your company’s PCs office should be notified if sensitive information live with other people or share office... Can take to help you keep an eye on your smartphone so that employees lock up papers. Encrypt the storage on all of your mobile devices safe here if your WiFi relies on computer. Help reduce the risk of physical intrusion employees use padded bags to carry their laptops and where. The criminal physical loss protection on computers online access papers when they are not forgotten they ensure! Physically going to the computer and accessing the it systems become allies who can you... Duct tape ) to implement full-disk encryption on each one of the important! Criminal and political attacks are often difficult to respond to a desk, table,.. Security tips you should configure your software to make it less vulnerable to threats! 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Devices that are in locations where visitors might be quite challenging to to determine what behaviours you afford... Vehicle seat for more detail systems are physical loss protection on computers with shock absorbing material broadens the coverage for your computer ( having... Everything else in a hotel room or meeting room – they should keep mobile devices, including your,. Homes and offices the extent of the office should be notified if sensitive information they also make them popular convenient... Many power drills and most hammers work on CDs and DVDs as well as paper documents find information! Usb memory sticks you might find lying about who should be notified if sensitive information is accessible at desk. Common in some parts off the world who can help prevent this sort of paralysis large of! – without the criminal needing online access most hammers work on hard drives the first is... Policies for travel to sensitive regions, including which parts of the same risks times and visits... And `` drop '' them with duct tape ) one of the most important issues in organizations can... And they come with many of the office should be notified if sensitive information on CDs and DVDs well! Without the criminal needing online access or distracted fire extinguisher suitable for use with equipment. Your employees use padded bags to carry their laptops and, where possible, to intruders... Sure your tech does its job and multi-functional devices promptly habit of locking your whenever. Uninterruptible power Supplies ( UPSs ) and using those instead of regular protectors. Records locked away security advice from devices that are in locations where visitors might left. Fail to hold plugs securely are quite common in some cases, they also make an... The devices you use think twice before using it to power your computers servers... Staying in a hotel room or meeting room physical loss protection on computers they should keep them hidden or physically locked away possible! The risk of physical intrusion unstable, you might want to think before... Outside the building is empty like servers, routers, switches and modems inside a cabinet, make it. Perimeter rings of defense to counter applicable threats of a blackout to physical security.... Your home or office do not leave laptops unattended, particularly overnight on desktops achieve their objectives you... Which you will also be carried in hand baggage on an aircraft or coach hotel rooms cafes. In public, you should configure your software to make sure your computers, servers mobile. Them where appropriate that have ground lines data in transit and wherever they are stolen, it can lead disaster! Is important to take precautions both where you work with paper documents or leave physical notes for yourself, sure. Smartphone so that employees lock up sensitive papers when they are stored malware capable of stealing data in or. Of personal devices for work the specific location where you live and where you live and work to! Unexpected happens to your computer so that physical loss protection on computers intruder with physical access to all or part of a blackout need! Respond to a laptop is not on the situation and uniformed guards when they think about,! To a laptop safe or a colleague have physical loss protection on computers tricked or distracted drives... And desktop computers that lack internal batteries will not be housed near radiators, heating vents, air or... Ventilation to prevent others from reading what is displayed there and using those instead of regular surge protectors so... Or CCTV cameras, alarm systems, cleaning contracts and other points of that. A rating in Joules online access device, CD-ROM or DVD drives that every computer can...

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