Increased Theft Incidents

The hard times of late, it seems, have brought with them an increased risk of both business premises and homes being burgled. 

The press have recently reported a 13% raise of burglary to signal the end of the otherwise 16 year fall in such crimes and recent events with our customer base have accelerated way beyond what we’d expect to see over a year but in the last quarter.

A local police man commented to one of our customers who was recently burgled at home that over 30 burglaries had occurred in Wollaton alone in the previous week.  Clearly levels of crime which we would be amiss to ignore as a threat to our businesses.

Obviously we all need to be vigilant to observe sensible and reasonable security provisions but at a few key things need to be understood with relation to business IT equipment.

Data Backup

A key thing often overlooked is that when computers are stolen the data they contain may be lost if it’s not regularly backed up.

Whilst staff using computers in offices generally save data to network drives it’s also common for people to mistakenly (or for perceived convenience) save documents to their desktop which in most scenarios will then not be backed up and therefore would be at risk of being lost.

Another common situation is laptop users such as sales people and directors who spend most of their time out of the office and therefore save exclusively locally on their laptops either to their desktop or local “my documents” folders. 

A key point is that there are solutions for all of these issues and though they most likely all include some level of cost it’s really important to weigh up this cost against the costs that will be incurred by the business should the data be permanently lost.

Be sure to check out our cloud backup product which provides a low cost managed solution for both mobile users and other backup needs - more details here

Data Protection & Theft

If a business computer is stolen the directors of the company must be made aware and it is their duty to ascertain whether any private and personal data was held on the stolen device(s) which may put their staff, suppliers or customers at risk. Breach of the Data Protection act can lead fines both for the company and personally for the directors.

All companies processing private and personal data must have a Data Protection Register entry and also have a duty to report breaches where data is lost to the Data Protection Agency under certain circumstances.  These duties and regulations can be hard to understand and would recommend that advice is taken by directors before they take any actions directly whether this involves contacting the individuals, whose data has been lost, contacting the Data Protection Agency or otherwise making public statements.

We provide a full service to check your registration is correct and assist you with managing your data proactively and also dealing with breaches.  Our service is fully confidential so please feel free to contact us either by using our contact form or by calling us on 0845 805 4870.

Network Security

Standard precautions such as requiring passwords to access computers can go a long way to ensuing that your business data is protected in the event of theft but the implementation of strong and comprehensive security procedures is a detailed and complex process.

We are currently providing free security audits for local businesses so if you would like to ensure that your IT security is up to scratch again give us a call and we’ll arrange a visit.

Physical Security

A range of options exist to physically secure your computers with solutions available for desktop computers, server and laptops.   These solutions range in price from roughly £30 for a security cable to lock a laptop to a suitably secure point right up to roughly £900 for a “laptop safe” which protects up to 50 laptops or netbooks.

Although these are obviously additional costs to bear when purchasing equipment against the hassle and time cost of replacing equipment they will quickly bear returns should theft occur.

A recent theft of laptops from a customer’s office showed us just how quickly 10 laptops could be removed from an office unless they are physically secured.

Advice & Support

If you need any advice or would just like to discuss options and risks please feel free to give us a call.

We cover a wide are but we are local to Beeston, Wollaton, Bramcote, Long Eaton etc and fast and friendly with years of experience in ensuring that security needs are properly taken care of.

 

BT Scam

Hot on the heels of this years round of scam e-mails purporting to be from the Inland Revenue and offering healthy refunds we've seen a new one today which pupports to be from BT.

This is a perfect example of phishing scams whereby scammers attempt to lure you into giving over your personal or preferably credit card details by playing the age of confidence trick and pretending to be someone that you trust

Here's a sample of the e-mail:

 

Looking at this it appears to come from ebilling@bt.com but looking at the headers tells us a completely different story....

This e-mail originated from an address in China and reached us via an compromised computer.

 

This type of scam is not new and it won't be the last time we see it.   If you are one of our customers and recieve a suspect message always forward it to us and we'll be more than happy to check it out for you otherwise play by these rules;

  1. Big companies like BT, banks, ebay etc will never e-mail you to ask for details - they will nag you when you next log safely into the site.
  2. Never trust the address that an e-mail purports to come from as this can be easily forged
  3. Before clicking a link in an e-mail hover over it and look at what address comes up - if it's not the address you are expecting then it's most likely a fraud.