Physically securing your IT hardware

According to the Office for National Statistics, computers are now the most commonly stolen item in UK burglaries. Laptops and tablet computers especially are small, easily portable and highly attractive on the second-hand goods market.

A computer theft from your business could be embarrassing as well as disruptive. Imagine having to contact all of your customers to inform them that your computer has been stolen and criminals were now in possession of their bank details.

As well as theft, intruders can vandalise your equipment, of course. If they are more sophisticated and have sufficient knowledge, they could even set up electronic ‘back doors’ into your computers to access them remotely without you knowing.

Security matters

Physically protecting IT equipment often requires no more effort than protecting other physical assets owned by your business. You need to establish a secure perimeter and install robust locks on all doors and windows (and cupboards if that is where you lock away laptops, etc).

You must also ensure that your premises have effective visitor control and adequate protection against intruders. Encryption can ensure that data cannot be read, even if your equipment or media (eg memory sticks) are stolen.

Using cables to secure PCs to desks can prevent them being stolen by an opportunist thief. Also get into the habit of securely locking away or taking home laptops and removable media when your premises aren’t being used.