For years—and particularly over the last few months—you’ve heard us bang on about “security”.

Why?  Because without a doubt, the safety of data is an important issue to any company.

We have always talked about strong passwords—changing passwords often, two factor authentication—and protecting networks from threats such as viruses and hackers. Rarely though do stop to consider the physical security of our computers.

Physical security is more than just making sure the doors to your office are locked. In some cases this is not always possible.

Consider the building complex made up of a number of suites, all accessible from the street via a lift. How many of these suites have you visited and found the front door locked?

One of our clients no more then 3 weeks ago had 2 laptops stolen from their offices when an interloper saw an opportunity to grab them. Now, a laptop lock may not stop a prepared person, but it will defiantly slow those with ill-intent down or take away that moment of opportunity altogether.

Is the door to your server room locked? If you have a computer rack, does it have locks and are they locked? Are your backup tapes/drives kept in a different area to your server?

It is very easy for someone to take all your backup tapes while removing a server if they are within reach. What about the risk of an unhappy staff member taking a backup tape?

It can be a heck of a task to restore a working server from tape; but considering the fact it doesn’t take a lot of work to restore raw data that could be used by a competitor, or someone starting up a business in competition, these are real risks that need to be avoided!! Physical security is quite probably the easiest type of safekeeping to implement- the hardest part is thwarting human nature’s tendency towards laziness. It’s easy to get into habits like leaving server room doors unlocked because we’re in and out of the room often. But it is not really best practice.

Here is our short list for improving your physical security:

  • For your laptop, install a cable lock. This is a high strength steel cable that locks into the side/back of your laptop and then bolts to the desk or a wall.
  • Lock your server room door, so only people that need access have access. At the end of the day, your server has the most information about your company.
  • Keep backup tapes in a different area to the servers – a locked drawer or filing cabinet is best so they are not in plain sight.