Tech Sensibility: The Newsletter (Aug 2015)
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- While you may think that you are protecting your computer account with a strong password, your data is still very vulnerable in the event that you accidentally leave your device somewhere, or if your home or office is broken into, or even in the unlikely scenario that it is seized by government agents at home or abroad. Encrypting your disk will protect your data in case your laptop falls into the wrong hands.
- Like digital files, paper documents need to be protected. When discarding confidential paperwork, make sure you shred them first. In addition, do not leave any sensitive documents on your desk - put them away before you go home at the end of the day.
- In a typical IT organization, passwords are sent via email. This is not a very wise practice. If you receive a password from your IT department in email, call them and request that they generate a new password for you while you are on the phone. When you hang up, log on to the system and change your password.
- There are some email messages that look like they are from a legitimate source but are not. If an email message contains a phrase like "Click the link below to update your information," it is probably a phishing scheme. Delete such emails immediately and do not open any attachments they may contain.
- Are you looking to save money and regain control of your expenses? Consider dsBudget, a simple, straightforward and free budgeting program. It will help you understand your spending habits, make smarter purchasing decisions and save money by recognizing wasteful expenditures.
IT Infrastructure Security
Ensuring the security of your important IT infrastructure systems requires that you establish measures to guard against unauthorized use and disclosure of sensitive data. Consider the following practical techniques and safeguards for the security of your IT infrastructure and protection of your business information assets:
Create strong passwords
Always select a strong password for your IT infrastructure network and server equipment. Strong passwords should include letters, numbers and special characters, in random combinations. Using mnemonic phrases will help you create secure passwords that are easy to remember. For example, "My network equipment is the best in the world" can become Mn3iTBitW#. In addition, avoid using the same password for multiple network and server devices.
Limit access to information
Permit only authorized personnel to access your IT infrastructure servers and services. Configure the equipment to end an electronic session after a predetermined time of inactivity. Verify that a person seeking access to your IT infrastructure services is the one claimed and is authorized to access the information. In addition, limit physical access to the facilities where IT infrastructure equipment is housed, while ensuring authorized personnel are allowed access.
Keep software up-to-date
Keeping your IT infrastructure operating systems and applications up-to-date is a critical security safeguard that you must implement to keep your business information secure. In addition, you should harden your infrastructure systems by removing unnecessary software, usernames and/or logins, disabling or removing irrelevant services, closing open network ports and implementing intrusion detection systems, firewalls and intrusion prevention systems.
Backup to multiple locations
The only safe way to recover from a security breach is by restoring your data from backups. Having a copy of your data on another computer or USB drive is not sufficient. Consider off-site backup storage including storing physical backup drives at another location and an automated cloud solution. If you backup to a cloud make sure you read the Service Level Agreement (SLA) documents, including the fine print, and stick to the business-level service options. In addition, backup your data to different media types (DVDs, external hard drives, memory sticks) and keep multiple copies. Restore some backed up data at least once every quarter to ensure that information being backed up can in fact be successfully restored.
Educate your employees
Even with the most advanced technology, it is impossible to block every security threat to your business. You also need to rely on your employees to help keep your network safe. Employees should receive computer security training during their initial new-hire orientation, as well as on a continued basis. They should receive regular reminders - for example, to change their passwords every few months and learn how to recognize the latest phishing scheme.
According to research, expressions of gratitude around the workplace tend to be rare. In one survey, 80% of people said that receiving gratitude makes them work harder, but only a fraction of them - 10% - expressed gratitude to someone every day. Yet being appreciated - along with interesting and exciting work that we feel is providing meaning and purpose - is one the major motivators on the job. How then, can you best show your gratitude at work, whether it is directed up, down or sideways? Be specific about what someone has done and give honest, sincere appreciation.
Business & Technology of Greater New York
Highlights from our last Fireside Chat with Dexter Loeble:
Watch the entire video.
About Business & Technology of Greater New York: The purpose of the event is to engage business and technology leaders of Greater New York to discuss their management and technology best practices and opportunities.
Join me at our next event on Thursday, September 24th from 6 - 8 pm, when
I will be hosting Thomas Clancy, President of Valiant Technology.
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