Before the XXII Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, there were concerns from several influential entities about the data security at the Olympics. These concerns were reported leading up to the games and on the eve of competition, the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams ran a story by reporter Richard Engel that intimated that visitors to Sochi were immediately being hacked when they signed into the public WiFi accounts provided to athletes, media, and guests of the games.
In a blog post titled, “A Lesson of WiFi Security from the Sochi Winter Olympics” we referenced Engel’s story to suggest the need to understand the best practices in keeping your personal information safe. Over the past couple weeks people have been extremely critical of Engel’s comments, some going so far as to call the story a complete fabrication. While we thought of writing a flat retraction, apologizing for the misinformation, NBC news came out in defense of Engel, leaving the issue in limbo. Besides, it’s not the issue for us.
Whether or not Engel’s mobile devices and mobile workstation were hacked when he first got to Russia or not, understanding the best practices in keeping your personal and business data secure is essential. It’s not hard to get wrapped up in the context of a situation and not understand that the message would be the same either way, which is, you have to protect your data.
Much of this endeavor is personal responsibility and understanding scenarios. Here are five tips to ensure that your business and personal information isn’t compromised from your computer or mobile device:
- Select Devices or Software with the Best Security – By selecting a device that comes equipped with enhanced security capabilities, you will lay the groundwork for secure computing. This includes antivirus software and data encryption.
- Require Authentication – To ensure you don’t get any unauthorized visitors on your device or network, requiring credentials for access is best practice.
- Control Business Accounts – By controlling the third-party apps on your employee’s devices, and utilizing the “wipe device” option when warranted, you can ensure that none of your sensitive data is being compromised or stolen.
- Consider Intrusion Prevention – Most mobile devices have the capabilities to track all traffic that comes through the device. Auditing this material for potential attacks can be just the thing to keep your device, and your network, safe.
- Careful Connections – Not all WiFi accounts are created equal. To ensure that your device, and the data on it, isn’t compromised, consider only connecting to secure and trusted WiFi connections, and turning off your Bluetooth, to limit your exposure to intruders.
At PACE Technical Services, our technicians are versed in all elements of network and device security. We believe that no matter what the news says, that it’s essential that you protect your data. For more information about how we can provide your business with the kind of comprehensive support that keeps our current clients ecstatic, call us today at 905.763.7896.