21 January 2019
Don’t open the door for data thieves
The stereotype of a computer hacker – where all it takes a few minutes of frenzied typing to access and control their target’s digital life – is looking more and more out of date. As organisations of all stripes getting serious about IT security, cybercrime is gaining a physical component.
Criminals might visit your premises to gain access to servers or plant malicious code; call employees and attempt to gain sensitive information like login details; or steal mobile devices like laptops, tablets or phones.
Or, in the worst cases, the cybercriminals might already be inside your business, as an employee or a contractor. So, how can you improve your physical security against cyber attackers? Here are some simple tips.
1. Access control
Don’t assume reception will always be able to control access to your facility. Reception staff can be extremely busy and need to take breaks so make sure they’ve got backup and don't make controlling access to the building their responsibility alone. And if you don't have a receptionist, you definitely need access control to minimise the chances of receiving unwanted visitors.
2. Secure the data centre
Make sure that access to your data centre is tightly controlled, and that only visitors who have been properly vetted can gain access. Getting hands-on time with your hardware lets a criminal do things that remote access can't – so whether your data centre is a massive facility buried in a mountainside or a server cluster in a cupboard, lock it.
3. Protect the locks
Swipe cards are a great security measure, but they can lead to a false sense of security. Make sure your locks remain secure by using encryption and ensuring that someone nearby can't simply capture the data and clone the card.
4. Keep an eye on things
Video surveillance gear (and the storage you need to hold footage) is now so cheap, and so easy to use, that there’s really no excuse not to invest. And it's effective, because:
- The cameras alone act as a deterrent to crime.
- The video feed (if it's being monitored) will show a threat in progress.
- The video can be reviewed afterwards or even used as evidence in criminal proceedings.
5. Secure your mobile devices
A secure locker is a great way to store laptops, tablets, external drives and other easily portable equipment. If your team members don't want to lock up their laptops every time they leave their desks, consider securing them with portable locks.
Whatever physical security solutions you choose, the most important thing is to remember that you should always be aware of the physical weaknesses in your IT security.