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How Safe is Your Computer Hardware?

July 9, 2014

We have all been in offices where computer hardware is set up in open areas without much thought being given to security. The smaller the office, the more dangerous this practice becomes. A small number of staff that handle many jobs and occasionally have to use the restroom will end up leaving the equipment unprotected.

Would someone really steal an office computer? Such events happen frequently and oftentimes don’t get reported because the business owner does not want customers or patients to know the event took place. How hard is it to prevent such a theft? Here are some simple strategies:

• Restrain desktops with a cable and lock secured to a wall or desk. Thieves are lazy and contrary to popular belief, rarely carry bolt cutters.

• Laptops should never be set down in open areas. Easy to pick up and conceal under clothing, these units can be stolen in a matter of seconds. When not in use place them in an office to open to the public. At night, lock them in a cabinet or a locked office. Smartphones and iPad like devices should be treated similarly.

• Put USB blockers in unused USB ports to prevent a data thief from inserting a flash drive and gathering your files for his use.

Simple? Yes. Effective? Yes Willingness of staff to accept? Let the whining begin and stick to your plan!  One HIPAA breach could cost you $5 million!

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