Information Security: Data Security

Data Security

Best practices for data security involves not only guarding from intrusion and theft, but preventing data loss through accidental deletion or hardware failures. The following steps can aid in preventing and recovering from these types of data loss.

Disk Encryption

Full disk encryption is one of the best ways to protect the sensitive data that is stored on laptops and desktop computers. This protects users in the event a device is lost or stolen, or even if a hard drive is taken out of a computer in an attempted data theft. Adding this layer of protection prevents data loss in the event unauthorized physical access to your device is gained.

For tips on Windows Disk Encryption:

For tips on Mac Disk Encryption:

Note: These encryption methods can be used on portable and USB drives as well.

Data Back-ups

Create a Local Backup System. All of your important files should be backed up locally. Ensure that your backup files are physically with you at your office. That allows for easy retrieval, and you maintain control of your files. Backing up your important files to a portable hard drive allows for quick access and movement to files, and protects against hard hard drive failure.

Create an Off-Site Backup System. Having a copy of your files in a different location than your office is essential. That provides two things: redundancy and catastrophe prevention. Having a second backup provides a level of redundancy in case the first backup fails. Your backup could fail because it didn't run, didn't run properly, or because of hardware failure, media filter, data degradation, or any number of reasons. It also provides catastrophic prevention. Say your office catches fire. Your files and your local backup files will all burn. There was no point to your backup files. Having an off-site backup (such as Google Drive) procedure means that even though your office is destroyed, your files aren't.

Automate Your Backup Procedures. Ideally your files will back up automatically, which reduces the issue of having to remember to run a backup. But you do need to check that the backups are running. Never assume that they are; know that they are. It's that important.

Securing Mobile Devices

Our phones and tablets provide unprecedented convenience for accessing our calendar, email and data while on the move. However, with this convenience comes an additional vector that can be exploited and compromised in order to access our sensitive information. For that reason, our mobile devices must be protected with the same diligence as our primary computing devices.

  • Utilize Passcodes for all devices
  • If available, also enable biometric locks (fingerprint or facial recognition)
  • Enable Find My iPhone or Find My Device for iPhones and Androids

These steps will make it extremely difficult for a thief to access your data, should your device be stolen or lost. Also, it will allow you to track your lost device, and to put additional security measures in place (such as custom help messages or remotely wiping device) if it is lost or stolen. Any questions, contact the Help Desk.