It's easy to trust the office. I'll be honest - I kept my birth certificate in my desk drawer for a couple days. I needed it for the DMV, which is close to my office! So, there it sat. While it probably seems like your office is a safe place, there are unsafe procedures and processes that lurk in just about every office. To ensure that your office is as secure as possible, follow these steps for workplace security.
This one's easy. The door should be locked at all times after hours, and whenever the office is empty. While a deadbolt is pretty good security, it's a really good idea to invest in some sort of security system. Knowing that the police will be notified if a break-in occurs is very relieving.
Employee Computer Locking
Make sure your employees get into the habit of locking their computers any time they step away for longer than a trip to the water cooler. To do this, educate each new employee on the importance of locking his or her computer. Then, if that employee forgets and goes to lunch without locking, get on the computer and mess with it. No, don't do anything too terrible that's going to take the new person a long time to fix. Change the background to fluffy kittens, put a scrolling screensaver on it that says "I love sardine sandwiches", etc. Hopefully, the employee will quickly get the idea and lock the computer both in and outside the office (if it's a laptop).
Program Updating and Patching
While securing your physical office and computer is important, online security is just as important. Every office has computer programs and applications that are used by almost everyone. Those programs and applications should be updated whenever possible, and patched whenever a security issue arises. Make sure you employ some sort of programs and applications list, so you can watch what everyone has on their computers. Each application presents a possible network threat, so it's important to stay on top of them in whatever way possible. Urge employees to install any updates that pop up right away.
Not having a firewall is like not having a lock on your office door. Malware is everywhere, and no matter how careful your employees are, you will come across viruses all the time. A firewall is your first method of defense agains malware, and should be on every computer and updated as often as possible. Do not underestimate the connivery of spammers and hackers.
Network Security Planning
A firewall should not be your only line of network defense. Every online piece of your business must be protected. Hackers will try to compromise your network via email, web servers, and anything else they can get their hands on. No matter the size of your company, having a security review from an IT Security Consulting firm can be the best idea you've ever had.
Joli D. writes for RJS Smart Security, a leading IT security consulting company specializing in network security, data loss protection, malware protection, application control, security assessments, and more.