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Risk

3/13/2009
12:59 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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7 Security Tips For Friday The 13th

Not that you're superstitious or anything, but why not take Friday the 13th (the second in two months) as an opportunity to tighten up security procedures and remind employees that security is a matter of more than luck?

Not that you're superstitious or anything, but why not take Friday the 13th (the second in two months) as an opportunity to tighten up security procedures and remind employees that security is a matter of more than luck?We've talked here before about the advantages of using calendar events as security reminders. Friday the 13th is such an event and here are seven (pretty) simple steps you and every computer user in your company can take to tighten your defenses:

1. Change passwords: Use strong passwords that combine letters, numbers and characters, and avoid real words, number sequences and dates (Friday13 is NOT a strong password!)

2. Take an access inventory: Who has access to which areas of data on your network, and why? (Is all that access necessary for business purposes?)

3. Test your wireless network: Take a wireless device outside your business walls and see just how wide your local area is. (And while you're at it, test and change your wireless network passwords.)

4. Check your Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Plan: Don't have a written Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity plan? Make one. Then test it.

5. Review your company-wide security policy: Don't have one? See #4 above.

6. Check that all patches and anti-malware defenses are up-to-date: Unpatched vulnerabilities for which patches are available is among the largest security problems, and one of the easiest to remedy. Review your patch management procedures.

7. Check your non-digital defenses: Take a look around the workplace for unsecured materials that could provide unauthorized access to digital materials (or, for that matter, any confidential material, digital or not.) Sensitive information on paper is as vulnerable to threat as information on disk.

Those few steps, taken regularly, raise your security profile and reinforce your commitment to constant and ongoing security practices, procedures and policies.

In doing so, you dramatically reduce your chances of unwanted intrusion, data or identity theft, introduction of malware onto your systems.

Preparation, in other words, is 90% of prevention, same as it is with good luck, whether on Friday the 13th or any other day of the year.

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