Michael Keating | July 12, 2012

Keeping Agency Data Safe

Government administrators need to safeguard data, says Joe Ferrara, president and CEO of Pittsburgh-based Wombat Security Technologies. The company offers cyber-security awareness and training to governments, defense, health care, education, utilities, retail and other sectors. The company’s customers include Fortune 500 companies, small to medium businesses and large government agencies. Some of the firm’s offerings cover mobile security, employee training to thwart phishing and other online hazards, and programs on managing cyber risk.

Wombat’s products include interactive games and embedded training solutions that create teachable moments, where users are most prone to pay attention and retain knowledge. Here are Ferrara’s pointers on keeping government data safe 24x7.

1. Don’t take sensitive agency information home on a laptop. An agency’s data is valuable to thieves. The theft of customer data, trade secrets, an agency’s financial information, and other valuable data could cost an organization millions — and could cost you your job.

2. Free Wi-Fi can be dangerous. When using public Wi-Fi, avoid accessing websites with “http://” which can be intercepted by anyone else on the network. Instead, use HTTPS for any website that you log into.

3. Public computers should always be considered unsafe. Key loggers and other malicious software can be installed by cybercriminals remotely to record everything you type. Only browse on public computers, and don’t login to any sites or personal accounts.

4. Don’t use file-sharing software on your work laptop. Many MP3s or video files available from file-sharing programs contain spyware or viruses. Installing programs like these on your laptop is like leaving your car unlocked.

5. Don’t let children or other family members use your work laptop. While well meaning, they might accidentally expose your computer, tablet, or work smartphone to spyware, viruses, or other risks. Even at home, you should lock your laptop when you walk away from it.

Ferrara will offer more security tips on Govpro.com in the near future.

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