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Risk

12/22/2008
10:09 AM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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Holiday Security: While Employees Are Away, Don't Let Crooks Play

As the holidays approach, so do opportunities to tighten security in the workplace -- or have lax habits turn into disasters.

As the holidays approach, so do opportunities to tighten security in the workplace -- or have lax habits turn into disasters.Even in better times, holiday seasons offered plenty of opportunity for unattended computers to be compromised while the employees responsible for them are taking some time off. These days, with many employers extending holiday "leaves," the risks are multiplied.

Before your employees and co-workers depart for their seasonal (or economic)time-off, a few positive steps can help prevent negative outcomes:

Have employees create new, strong passwords before they leave (and not leave a paper or Post-It trail of what the passwords are!)

Make sure all anti-virus software is fully updated.

All removable media should be removed from the workplace, and placed in safe, secure locations. (Good practice is to have paper and other physical records of confidential and proprietary information locked awy out sight as well.)

For employees taking work home for the holidays, review the security practices and tools required to make homework adhere to company security policy.

Where possible and practical, absent employees' computers should be turned off and disconnected from the network while they're away.

These few simple steps can go a long way toward avoiding any unpleasant holiday security surprises when the holidays are over.

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