Government // Mobile & Wireless
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1/11/2011
03:54 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
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Don't Let Bad Weather Expose Security Vulnerabilities

Heavy weather can carry a heavy price if your digital and workplace security measures aren't thorough and up-to-date.

Heavy weather can carry a heavy price if your digital and workplace security measures aren't thorough and up-to-date.The latest storm bearing down on the northeast is a seasonal and geographic reminder of something businesses in every region face at different times of the year: disruptions, or potential disruptions, caused by severe weather.

How prepared are you, your employees and your infrastructure to deal with the challenges that a patch of extreme weather could impose?

More to the point, how ready are your security and security backup procedures?

If your employees are going to be working from home:

Are their home systems and connections as secure as those in the workplace? (Pay special attention to employees' approaches to home networking: unsecured wifi could make you business data available to the neighborhood.)

That security level must include up-to-date virus definitions and vulnerability patches.

Who else in their home will be using devices that contain business information? A home PC that sports three or or four or more users isn't the best place for your business information.

If your workplace is going to be understaffed or closed until the weather emergency passes:

Are all non-essential systems shut down?

Are door locks and other physical security items adequate? How recently have they been tested? Is the safe closed? The fireproof cabinet holding essential papers locked?

If no one from the company can get by the workplace to check on its security, have you made arrangements with authorities -- or a nearer business -- to keep at least an occasional eye on things?

If power outages are likely as a result of weather:

Do you have backup power set to automatically come on?

In addition to servers and other business essentials that will be using backup power, make sure your alarms and other security systems will remain up and running if the main current gets cut.

If you're facing a winter weather even, have you made provisions for shutting off water before the pipes freeze, burst and flood your business?

Clearly, these and related matters should be addressed before the storms strike. If you haven't given much thought to the relationship between your security procedures and the weather outside your business, now's as good a time as any -- whether or not the weather outside your business is good or bad at the moment.

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