Is Your Network Secure?

From sending email to opening a file, connecting to Wi-Fi to browsing the web, critical business data on your network must be protected. There are dozens of opportunities to protect your network from unwanted access, but here we’d like to share some of the simplest and most effective network security strategies. Is your network secure?

● Are passwords robust? Make sure passwords are eight characters in length or more, and include at least one upper- and one lower-case letter, a number, and a special character. Avoid actual words and letter substitutes—hacking software is sophisticated enough to recognize when you use “$” instead of “S”.

● Are passwords changed regularly? The longer a password exists, the more vulnerable it is. Tired of managing dozens of passwords that change all the time? Consider an enterprise password management service application, so you’ll only need to remember one.

● Are all inactive accounts disabled? Every account is a door that can be breached, so don’t delay—each individual account should be disabled as soon as an employee leaves.

● Is your data regularly backed up offsite? Whether in another office or with a cloud-based server, make sure your data is recoverable even if your office is lost to a fire or disaster.

● Does every computer and mobile device have antivirus software installed? Don’t be a sitting duck for spyware, ransomware, viruses, and other malware. Ensure every piece of hardware in your network has active, up-to-date antivirus software installed. Also, don’t wait to update! It is crucial that all of your devices are running the latest version of antivirus software available to ensure the security of your data.

● Do you use WPA2 encryption? Short for “Wi-Fi Protected Access 2,” WPA2 encryption ensures that your Wi-Fi connection is secure. So, don’t leave your virtual front door open. WPA2 authentication is easy to set up and simple to comply with.

● Is your equipment physically secured? Don’t leave your physical doors open, either. Store critical hardware in a locked room with limited accessibility. A data thief doesn’t need to worry about hacking the network if they can walk in and physically remove the device they want to access.

If you answered “No” to any of these questions, you have work to do. Take these few simple steps and get your network secure and your data protected.

What’s Your Policy? Corporate Mobile Device Rules to Consider

We live and work in a mobile world, and mobile access is increasingly critical to business communications and workflows. Whether your employees use a laptop computer, mobile phone, tablet, or portable drive, a few well-executed, thoughtful policies can provide some assurance for your employees and your company.

Consider the following rules when crafting your mobile device policy.

● Devices must be password-protected. Employees may object to the inconvenience of having to unlock their device, but this is a must-have rule. Note that swipe patterns and facial recognition are less secure than a strong password.

● Stored data must be encrypted. Strong encryption—typically 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)—is a necessity to protect data on all mobile devices. Talk to your IT professionals specifically about encryption when developing your policy.

● Users must use encrypted network connections. In other words, make sure your staff doesn’t use free Wi-Fi connections! Options vary, but approved connections usually include SSL for Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections, or WPA2 for Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) connections.

● Mobile devices must be stored securely. Physical theft is as much of a risk as data-only theft, so make sure to stress that mobile devices shouldn’t be left unattended to your staff.

● Lost or stolen mobile devices must be reported to the company within 24 hours. Increased exposure time means increased risk. Make sure your team knows to notify you when devices are lost, so you can take action quickly.

● Devices must have remote data wiping enabled. If it’s not possible to recover a lost device, the only way to protect company data is to remove it completely.

● No texting or emailing while driving. No business communication is worth the life of your employee, or that of another driver or passenger. Stress responsible texting in your mobile policy. As the saying goes, it can wait.

● Noncompliance has consequences. Make sure employees know that repercussions associated with violating internal data sharing rules also apply to mobile data. Accidental exposures of non-sensitive data may warrant a simple written warning, while intentional data theft or exposure may call for termination.

Embracing mobile technology is vital to competing in today’s economy. With a few smart device rules and staff training, your company can thrive in the mobile world. Call Infomax Office Systems to optimize your mobile device strategy today.

Easy Ways to Practice Green Printing in the Office

Environmental responsibility is essential in today’s office. Not sure how to start doing your part, beyond recycling paper? Read on for some easy strategies to increase your company’s commitment to sustainability by focusing on greening your business’ printing practices.

● Print on both sides — Two-sided (also called duplex) printing is one of the fastest and easiest ways to green your printing practices. By choosing this setting, your printed documents will use as much as 50 percent less paper.

● Use fast or draft mode — Fast mode speeds up printing time and dramatically reduces the amount of toner used per page. Only print in normal or high-resolution if it’s absolutely necessary—like for formal presentations and proposals.

● Print in monochrome — Black and white printing uses less toner than color printing. Even “black” text can use color toner, unless you specifically designate grayscale or monochrome printing.

● Program eco-friendly defaults — The best way to ensure green printing practices from your staff is to make it automatic. Set all printers in your fleet to default to environmentally-friendly settings to ensure the biggest impact.

● Avoid printing pictures — Unless an image is essential for understanding the content, stick to text only when printing.

● Use print-friendly formats — If you must print a webpage, look for the printer icon—typically at the top of the page—to print without wasteful images, sidebars, and menus. For PowerPoint presentations, print in handout format, with three or six slides per page.

● Share print resources — A networked device makes it possible for multiple users to share one machine. You’ll save energy by slashing the number of machines in use, and you’ll have less unused, wasted time for each device.

● Consolidate to a multifunction printer (MFP) — A single MFP can handle the duties of a printer, copier, scanner, and fax machine. Switching to an MFP will use less power, take up less space, and save money.

● Use EnergyStar-certified machines — Look for the blue star that indicates a device is as energy-efficient as possible. These models will usually include advanced sleep modes to save power when not in use, upping your sustainability efforts even when you’re off the clock.

● Recycle printer cartridges — Used cartridges can be refilled as many as a dozen times, conserving raw materials and preventing waste.

Contact Infomax Office Systems today for help putting green printing practices in place for your company!