4. The Basics Check
Encrypting your computer is not just for Jack Bauer and CTU (dated reference), anyone can do it. This simple step will help prevent a data breach if your computer is stolen.
EXAMPLE: This data breach (and corresponding customer notification) from a sole practitioner CPA could have been prevented if his laptop and thumb drive were encrypted.
The Spot Check:
STEP 1: If you don't already know, determine which version of Windows or Mac operating system you are running
STEP 2: Attempt to turn on full disk encryption in your operating system
PASS: You have a computer with the proper hardware (TPM) that is running a version of Windows or Mac that gives you the ability to encrypt the hard drive and it's already turned on.
FAIL: Your hard drive has the capability to be, but is not encrypted
SUPER FAIL: Your hard drive doesn't even have the capability to be encrypted because you have a computer without the proper hardware (TPM) that is running a version of Windows or Mac
If you fail:
Theft of your computer would be a data breach.
- Turn on encryption (see step 2 above).
- Have a conversation with your IT person about why it wasn't already turned on.
- Contact Ariento or another vendor you trust to get a vulnerability assessment to see where else you may be at risk.
If you super fail:
Your operating system and/or computer hardware is not capable of encrypting your hard drive.
- Have a conversation with your IT person about why you are using computer hardware and/or a version of an operating system that doesn't have the capability to encrypt. This should not be the case for a business computer.
- Upgrade to a more modern operating system and/or a computer with a TPM chip and/or purchase 3rd party encryption software immediately! Contact us if you need help as this is included with our service.
- Contact Ariento or another vendor you trust to get a vulnerability assessment to see where else you may be at risk and to provide you concrete recommendations for improving your security posture.
If you pass:
Pat your IT person on the back for doing the basics and move on to Spot Check #5!