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Four Ways to Secure Your Workstation Part 3-4

Reading Time: 3 minutes Four Ways to Secure Your Workstation – #BeCyberSmart October is marked globally by various countries and organisations as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The theme for 2021 is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” At iSite Computers, we’ve dedicated this month to publishing a four-part series aimed at creating awareness on fundamental cybersecurity practices for small to medium-sized businesses […]
cybersecurity p3 four ways to secure your workstation
27 Oct, 2021
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Four Ways to Secure Your Workstation – #BeCyberSmart

October is marked globally by various countries and organisations as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The theme for 2021 is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.”

At iSite Computers, we’ve dedicated this month to publishing a four-part series aimed at creating awareness on fundamental cybersecurity practices for small to medium-sized businesses in South Africa. Share this article series with your employees to stress the critical basics of IT security in order to keep your business protected. This is Part 3 of 4.

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Whether it’s desktops, laptops, or tablet computers, workstations are an indispensable part of business today. Their ubiquity also makes them an easy target for cybercriminals, who can exploit an individual device to access larger networks or admin privileges, such as a company server.

Workstation security involves a mix of real-world and virtual safeguards. In this article, we take a look at four actionable ways to secure your workstation.

(1) Use an Active Security Suite

A “security suite” is what computer nerds call an antivirus program, mostly because a security suite does a whole lot more than antivirus software ever used to do. Security suites protect your system from viruses – as well as malware, spyware, and network attacks.

Not all malicious programs are viruses. Some programs present themselves as useful but are spyware. For example, it could be a program that offers to alert you to discounts or deals but also secretly monitors everything you do online. Your security suite should be able to detect and disable these kinds of software.

If you use a company-owned system, your managed IT company will likely provide a security suite. You should make sure that this security software is running and active. If it isn’t, turn it on and immediately run a full system scan.

(2) Leave It? Lock It

Never leave your system logged in and unattended. Not in your office at work, not on your desk at home, and not on the table in a conference venue. Never.

When you walk out of eyesight of your device, lock it and/or log out. Configure your system to automatically lock, and logout, after a few minutes if not in use.

(3) Sharing Isn’t Always Caring

Unless your IT team specifically tells you otherwise, don’t share your work devices with anyone.

Hand it to Harry in Accounting and he might insert a USB filled with malicious files. Loan your netbook to Bob in Marketing to use for a presentation at a conference and he could present you with ransomware infection. This risk of sharing work devices also applies to work-from-home scenarios. Share your work laptop with a roommate for playing video games, and he might just download a torrent carrying a Trojan virus that spreads to your company servers.

Additionally, when you share a file, share it from the company’s shared file system. This is either in the cloud or on your server. Don’t use your personal Google Drive or Dropbox or OneDrive or Mega – and don’t use anyone else’s. Company-managed cloud services actively scan for problems, and your document server likely does, too. The same can’t be said for Bob’s Dropbox account.

(4) Backup Your Data

Back up the data you want to keep. You don’t need to back up your operating system or applications because your IT company should be able to replace and update those easily.

But your data isn’t replaceable. That means your email, documents, images, spreadsheets, presentations, audio and video files – all of it should be backed up. Any file that matters to you should be backed up.

This also includes cloud applications. Just because you store data in the cloud does NOT mean it’s automatically safe and protected. If your company is storing critical information in a SaaS application (like Salesforce), consider implementing a cloud-to-cloud backup solution.

With a backup, if your system does get infected – or when the hardware finally fails – your data is safe. You get another system, set it up, and then start work. A backup can save you the frustration of fighting with a malware infected system.

Book a Free #BeCyberSmart Consultation for Your Business

Workstation security starts with best practices like these. But comprehensive protection involves far more intensive multi-layered cybersecurity measures and safeguards. Not sure where to start?

iSite Computers is here to help you take the first step. Established in 2008, we specialize in helping South African SMBs protect their cybersecurity, data and bottom line. Book a free, no-obligation cybersecurity consult to learn more.

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