IT Security Suggestions for the Christmas Period

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IT Security Suggestions for the Christmas PeriodWe’re all coming up to our Christmas shutdown and so we thought it would be a good idea to recap some suggestions for IT security over the holiday. Here are some important things you need to think about before you lock the door and head off home:

  • Data Backup – Boring? Well lost data is still the number one issue we encounter when meeting a client for the first time, so many people are still doing it wrong. Common issues include; data back-ups appearing to work but not actually working; backed up data stored on site so liable to loss or damage at the same time as the main data source; data recovery fails so although it’s stored you can’t retrieve it. What you should do is test a reload of some data today. If you can go into your data back-up system and successfully recover a file or directory then all is well. If you can’t – call us.
  • Physical Security – Are key members of staff likely to be wandering around with laptops after a Christmas party? Vast numbers of mobile devices are lost or stolen at this time of year as laptops are left on the train or in a taxi or go missing during an event. Check who has what, where it’s going to be stored and if the data on it has been backed up securely so that if the worst happens you won’t lose important files.
  • Switch some things off – As staff leave for the holiday, make sure PCs and other devices are powered down. Not only are they more vulnerable when they are left on and unattended, it’s a waste of money to leave them powered up for days on end. PCs also benefit from being switched off from time-to-time as you may well have noticed.
  • Watch out for scams – It’s a classic time of year for scams involving online purchases and false refunds.  Keep your staff informed and educate them to help avoid scams targeting their financial transactions which are often done on work machines.
  • Update Passwords – When was the last time you forced a password update through? Perhaps now is the right time if you haven’t made everyone update for a while. Coming back in the New Year, enforce a company wide password update and make sure the security settings on acceptable passwords are set to “Strong” or higher.

Above all, try and plan how you would recover if when you came back in after the Christmas break, the worst had happened. We don’t want to be doom mongers but it will happen to some businesses over the holiday and it’s a good time of year to take a step back and consider where you stand.

If you don’t like what you see, then give IGC a call – and Merry Christmas!

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