A Happy New Year and a more Secure one
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We should all hope that 2008 is going to be a more secure year for our data.
It seems that every day brings fresh news that our data has been compromised in
one way or another. The chief culprits appear to be government departments which
are being forced to own up to data breaches in the past rather than being found
out by the Information commissioner.
In addition to lost disks, there are paper records discarded in public
dustbins and lost laptops by the boat-load. Security which was trumpeted by
ministers as being paramount seems to have been very low on their priority list
in their own domains. It is also lamentable that there has been a deliberate
policy of hiding the facts from those people most at risk.
We must be vigilant as these data breaches might not affect us until some
date in the future. Criminals will wait until the furore has died down before
using the data illegally.
Let us make sure that 2008 is a year of data security, here is a recap of
- Always shred confidential documents or documents having identifiable data;
- Never give passwords or log on information to email enquiries, telephone
callers or visitors;
- Be wary of emails directing you to a bank or other secure site which ask
for personal information;
- Do be aware that information put into social sites such as Facebook may be
visible to people other than the intended audience. Dates of birth, names and
addresses, telephone numbers and details of family can be used to steal
- Never dispose of old computers until the hard drives have been removed or
destroyed; remember deleting or re-formatting the disk does not actually
delete the data;
- Never leave confidential documents on desks overnight or when unattended
(clear desk policies);
- Laptops should be secured with a multistrand cable to an immovable object
like a radiator when unattended;
- Laptops should be password protected;
- Laptops should be encrypted if data is sensitive;
- Never share passwords and use complex passwords to prevent other gaining
access to desktops and laptops;
Never leave desktops and laptops logged in and unattended;
The list goes on and on but use common sense - assume that the worst may
happen and take precautions to stop or at least reduce it.
Let us all have a Happy and safe New Year.
About the Author
Chris Eden FIBC, MISSA, ACQI is a director of Quality Matters Limited an
established independent management consultancy specializing in
Information Security Management accreditation.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-01-07 12:41:29 in Computer Articles