As the technology and network security landscape continues to expand, we find that many of the small, proactive measures users can take to strengthen their security get lost in the wake of the next big thing. While these strategies may seem insignificant, they set the foundation for a larger security plan without the need for special software, high levels of encryption, or even a staff to manage them.
By implementing the four simple strategies below, you can greatly enhance the security of your most vital computing assets and go a long way in preventing a devastating cyber attack or network breach, all without even picking up the phone.
Clean Your Desk - We recently conducted a study in an office with 25 employees and found that over 50% of these associates kept two or more items on their desk that would assist anyone trying to penetrate the company’s network and gain access to sensitive business information. Whether you are taking a break, heading to the conference room or leaving for the day, always leave a clean desk behind you to ensure that any personal information is safe from prying eyes.
No Passwords Under the Keyboard - You are probably familiar with current password complexity requirements and the frequency with which most organizations force users to change them. A common process for many users is to write their password down and leave it hidden around their desk, or worse, on a sticky note on the side of their monitor.
For added security and to make remembering a bit easier, use a phrase the next time you change your password. A simple phrase with three to four words greatly increases your protection from the likes of a dictionary attack. Make sure the phrase is easy for you to remember and doesn’t require you to write it down or leave it under your keyboard!
Turn Off your Screen - If you are like most of us, leaving your computer on and logged in for longer than the time it takes to grab a cup of coffee or hop in a “quick” meeting is common. To correct this, simply adjust your power settings to turn your monitor off but leave your computer’s CPU on. This enables your computer to appear off and locked for security quickly, but doesn’t slow you down when you get back to your desk moments later.
Lock Your Computer - For an added level of security, consider locking your computer when you walk away. Completely locking your computer enhances privacy, protects confidential communications and prevents data from being stolen or altered. To lock your PC, press the Windows + L combination at the same time on your keyboard. Once this is done, the login screen will appear, and no one can access your computer unless they know your password.
While nothing can completely remove the risk of a cyber attack, the steps outlined above go a long way in helping your network security team keep you and your data safe. To explore more advanced security measures, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and someone on our team will contact you for a security consultation.