Data Security, Do’s and Don’ts

Today received a call from my mother telling me that none of the computers in the house had Internet connectivity and also that the house phone wasn’t getting a dial tone. Of course because I am a professional I was able to narrow down the problem within a few seconds because I could hear the TV in the background I knew that the issue was limited to the cable modem. Long story short the power cable broke probably because there was another issue on the ISP side and my family was probably trying to rest the modem but in the process the broke the cable and made the situation worse. Which brings me to the point of this article.
The first step in securing your data and mission critical systems is not a firewall or super complicated password, but something much more simple, a $2 lock. Yes believe it or not the first step is something as simple as placing your servers in a locked room with limited access to only the people that need access to it.
Disable all external access to your devices. Like disabling your USB ports, disabling your CD-Rom. Yes these are scary thoughts because I know you are thinking about “what if I need to fix something?” Well the answer is simple, you can access everything through your network and if by chance your network is also down, notice I didn’t say to remover your keyboard and mouse access so you can still log in traditional means if need be.
Another security measure is plain and simple, CREATE A SECURE PASSWORD! Using your dogs name with a few digits from your address is not a secure password, granted it is better than just using your name but with a bit of social engineering a hacker can put two and two together. A secure password should probably be about 8 characters at the minimum and contain uppercase letters lowercase letters a number or two and one and more special character such as @ or !.
You may be saying to yourself “why would anyone want to hack my network?” But the answer is as simple as this, if you think your data is valuable enough that you would want to secure it by using firewalls and placing everything on a centralized server then you must think you have something very valuable to protect. And if you feel it necessary to protect it then someone will think it’s worth trying to steal.