How to Ensure Your Company Laptops Are Safe from Data Leaks
Hearing about data leaks at businesses is becoming more and more commonplace now. An employee losing a company laptop that is full of confidential information is an example of that. Something like that can cause a major headache to a business, not to mention financial losses and a big dent in their reputation. And, for a smaller business, it can even be the end.
Thankfully, it is much easier to protect your company from these data leaks than it ever used to be, and even the smaller businesses can easily afford the required technology that will protect all data in transit. There are loads of ways and tools that can help to protect your company and we are going to look at two of the best and most affordable ways that data can be protected:
Encrypting Your Laptop Hard Drives
So many business owners are unaware that, on its own, a password login is of absolutely no protection whatsoever against leaks should a company laptop be lost or stolen. It is very easy to take the hard drive out of a laptop and doing so gets around the need for a password.
What is required is full disk encryption using software like BitLocker on Windows, or if you use Mac OS X, with FileVault. With BitLocker, you must have the Enterprise or Ultimate edition of Windows, or if you don’t you could use something like TrueCrypt.
Using USB Flash Drives That Self Encrypt
Whether you like it or not, your employees do take their work home on occasion and you, through those employees, are taking a huge risk with data, considering just how easy it is for stolen or lost USB drives to be accessed.
You could go down the route of encrypting each individual file onto a flash drive, but it is easy for you to get bogged down and forget the odd file when you do it this way. The other way is to use USB flash drives that offer encryption for the actual hardware with authentication built in. At the top end of the market, you will find USB flash drives that have embedded fingerprint sensors but, for the more affordable choice, there are flash drives that offer authentication by way of a numeric keypad. And, if the password is input incorrectly more than 10 times (or less) then the key is erased, and the data is useless.
One of the biggest deterrents to putting a proper level of data protection in place is less about the cost of doing so and more about diligence, but with the smallest effort, any business owner can protect their company data from being leaked via a laptop.
There are other steps that you can take, like training staff on not revealing passwords or only allowing them access to certain files and data, or you could just go down the route of not allowing them to take work home. Data encryption must also be in place on the network to stop data leaks across an outgoing connection, but all of these are relatively inexpensive and can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.