Physical Security Safekeeping for Computers and Devices

Cybersecurity has significantly increased in popularity in the last few years as data breaches and hacks have become more frequent. However, the physical security of computers and other company devices is just as important as cybersecurity. It doesn't do much good to protect your computers from hackers thousands of miles away on the internet, but someone can walk into your building and physically access the server. You must take time to figure out where your assets are physically located and make sure they are accounted for and secured. Here are nine tips for physically securing your computer assets:

1) Have all your computers accounted for

The first issue many people have is that they don’t know where all of their physical servers and computers are located. Often, if the IT team can see the computers on the network and interact with them, they don’t overthink where they physically are. If you don’t know where they are, you can’t secure them so you should start here.

2) Work with your cloud providers

If you use cloud services, you should work with your cloud provider to find out where the servers are physically stored and what type of physical security controls are in place. Avoid assuming that just because it’s in the cloud that you don’t need to do your due diligence.

3) Disable USB Ports and any other external drives

If there isn’t a specific business reason for using USBs or portable hard drives, disable these from company machines. This way people can’t come in and take company data easily or infect the machine with malware.

4) Use Cameras

You should have monitored surveillance on areas with important company servers or computers so that you can be aware of anyone trying to access it without permission. Also, you want to keep a record of who is coming in and out, surveillance helps with this but keeping a log book and requiring people to sign in and out of the server room is another good way to keep track of it.

5) Keep server rooms locked

You should not allow general access to the company server room, the server room should be locked and only certain people who have a business need to access them should be given access. The information you have stored on your servers can be very important so protect it.

6) Have a good security policy

You should have a company policy that mandates good behaviour, such as not leaving your workstation unattended, not using usbs, no tailgating etc. You should be encouraging people through written policy to behave in a way that won’t cause any security issues.

7) Keep a copy of your backups offsite

You should be aware that your company backups are stored and make sure you have a copy of them that is physically stored offsite and one onsite. This way if one copy goes down, you have a backup that is physically separated from the other one.

8) Protect printers

Don’t neglect protecting company printers, if someone can steal your company printer they may be able to make copies of documents that were printed recently. Therefore you should make sure that they are bolted down like any other piece of company equipment. You should also think about the documents that people print, make sure that you have shredding stations around the office for sensitive documents and secure garbage bins that don’t let people go looking inside for company documents.

9) Have good cooling systems and fire suppression systems

If you have a server room they run the risk of overheating or causing a fire and you don’t want the traditional water based fire suppression systems because they can damage the equipment. Invest in good cooling systems for your server room and have fire suppression systems that will not damage your company electronics or company employees (avoid CO2 based fire suppression systems).

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