One stolen iPad can ruin your whole day

 In Security

A lost or stolen laptop, phone or tablet at the wrong time, and landing in the wrong hands, is disruptive at best and disastrous at worst. With a proactive approach, theft of devices need only be a minor hiccup.

Physical recovery is not the answer

In most cases, a thief will remove a SIM card or battery, disabling recovery software. If not, you still face major hurdles to get that device returned with the data intact. Instead of device recovery, consider how to protect your device, protect your data and minimise the disruption.

Think about what you need to protect

Ask some basic questions to identify your main areas of vulnerability.

  • What’s the main purpose/s of the device/s? You want the main work you do on your portable devices secured, backed-up and remotely accessible.
  • What do you need to access using the device? You should be able to access your most important work easily if you needed switch to a new device.
  • What information do you record on the device? If you’re creating essential work on a portable device, you’ll need to focus on good backup.
  • How vulnerable is it to theft? Portable devices are most frequently lost or stolen in public places. The more mobile your workforce, the more you’ll need to invest in security.
  • How can the data be misused? Thieves are usually opportunistic. Secure the data that can be easily and quickly misused if the device is taken.

Your options

Your best defence is prevention.

  • Prevent physical theft.
    • Proximity alarms – Proximity alarms will alert you when a device moves outside a certain range from your alarm.
    • Mindfulness – Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t leave portable devices unattended in public places or out in plain sight when not in use in the home or office; and never leave them in your car.
  • Prevent your data from being misused.
    • Have a plan in place – Once a device is gone, you want to be able to act quickly. Write out the steps to follow if a device is lost or stolen. You might like to read my article on what to do if your laptop is stolen.
    • Passcode/lock – Make it company policy to have a lock or passcode set on your work devices.
    • Password access/2-step verification options – Secure sensitive documents and apps with passwords or 2-step verifications.
    • Device management – If you lose a device, log out of sessions and lock down your data. Most operating systems have options available for ringing, locking and remotely erasing a device. Many online sessions can be remotely logged out of, for example, Facebook and Google allow remote logout on all devices. Get to know the protections available through your apps, online accounts and devices.
  • A well-managed IT strategy and system will minimise the disruption to productivity.
    • Backup – The oldest message in IT history: back up your data. Get some expert help to organise backup system that meets your needs.
    • Cloud storage – If you have a highly mobile workforce, cloud storage can ensure that you don’t lose your most important work along with the device.
    • Cloud-based applications – increasingly, software applications offer in-browser options. Using cloud-based applications from portable devices can prevent loss of work when the device is lost.

Protect yourself, your staff and your productivity before the inevitable happens. A good IT strategy and system will help your device loss or theft feel like a minor hiccup, rather than a major disaster. Give us a call if you want to know more about how to create an effective IT support system for your business.

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