With the increasing demand and use of new technology, we often don’t realise the vast amounts of data we carry. We therefore need to safeguard our devices and the information they contain, from unauthorised access, loss, theft and malware infection.
Why do we need controls for protecting computer devices?
The way we work and the tools we use are quite different then there were even a decade ago. With advances in new technology, we find ourselves relying more and more on portable devices, including the field force device. Although these devices may be relatively inexpensive and easy to replace, the cost of the information contained on them and the cost to the company if such information is lost or destroyed can be very high.
Failure to safeguard our company devices can lead to a number of risks, such as;
- Loss or theft from vehicles, homes, or directly from an individual
- Damage to the device as well as risk of corrupting information they contain
- Unauthorised access to the information they contain
Did you know? According to eWeek.com, 275 European organizations lost more than 72,000 laptops during 2010 resulting in £1.15 ($1.79) billion losses to the organizations. On average, the loss of 1 laptop cost each company £4.4 million ($6.8 million).
What about using my Smart-phones?
Gone are the days when your mobile phone was just a simple phone! New technology has now transformed these devices into mini computers with the ability to store vast amounts of data, including pictures, videos and emails with the ability to open and view files. Most smart-phones now come with an internal hard drive and the ability to expand their storage space through removable media.
Failure to safeguard and appropriately use these devices can lead to loss of information and unauthorised access. Use of the device in public access areas, especially on open wireless connections, causes additional risk to the organization.
Did you know? According to Bloomberg news on April 10, 2012, “40% of all robberies in New York involve Smart-phones and other wireless devices.”
A Carnegie Mellon University study in 2011 determined that 40% of all organisations have had mobile devices stolen, half of which contained some type of sensitive information on them.
Can I use my phone to post information to social media sites?
We often want to share information with our friends or family members, especially if an unusual situation occurs. Anything we post becomes public knowledge and cannot be protected by National Grid systems. Be careful not to post anything that could compromise the safety of the job, the identity of the customer, or the reputation of the organization.
Did you know? A customer video on YouTube resulted in over 10 million hits in a month and severely tarnished the reputation of the company for like minded consumers.
Here are some helpful tips to getting it right;
- Avoid leaving equipment unattended in a vehicle unless it is permanently attached. Keep portable items in the boot or trunk of the vehicle when travelling
- If you spend time on public transport or on foot, purchase a less conspicuous bag to carry your devices in
- Avoid leaving your device unattended in public places, even if its just out of sight for a few moments
- Remember, your personal safety should never be compromised for the safety of equipment
- Do not let family or friends borrow and use your company devices for personal use
- Never install software on your company device that does not comply with corporate policy or without prior permission of IS
- Do not plug unapproved devices such as un-encrypted USB sticks, cameras, or other devices that are not part of the corporate infrastructure to your company device
- Report any loss or theft immediately to your line manager and local police station if necessary