Physical Protections for Cyber Things
When we discuss cyber awareness, our focus is often on phishing prevention and strong passwords. These are key pieces to cyber safety. Another equally important piece is physical protection of our data and the keys to our data. Four ways to physically protect your network include locking screens, safeguarding written passwords, shredding sensitive documents, and securing mobile devices.
Your workstation should be locked anytime it is out of sight. This includes a trip to the restroom or the printer. Have you ever intended to make a quick trip to the printer and ended up in a long discussion with a co-worker? Anytime your workstation is unlocked and unattended, it is an opportunity for an unwanted intrusion into your account and the whole network. With access to your account, someone could view your personal information, delete your files, or send email on your behalf.
Do you struggle to remember passwords for all of your accounts? So much of our lives are digital, both at home and at work, and passwords are the key to our online lives. It can be difficult to keep all of our passwords straight and it’s tempting to write your passwords down on a piece of paper. Maybe even tuck it under your keyboard for easy access. It may seem like a harmless, even helpful, action—it’s not! Someone may come along and find your password, which would again cause an unwanted intrusion into your account and the network as a whole. Consider writing down a hint, rather than the actual password. If you must write your password down, keep it in a locked drawer.
Shredding Sensitive Documents
What’s the point of protecting access to the network if printed documents are left unattended on your desk? When working with sensitive information such as company propriety information or personally identifiable information, shred it as soon as you are done using it. Lock it up when it’s not in use.
Securing Mobile Devices
Many employees are issued work smartphones or laptops used to work from home or on business trips. What precautions should we take to protect those devices? Your mobile devices should always be locked with a password and should remain on your person or in a secure location. Losing this information, or having it stolen, can cause damage to your company’s reputation and bottom line.
As always, our users are key in the defense of our networks. We must remind them regularly of all aspects of cyber awareness, including physical protections.