Most professionals take great care of their personal digital devices. Whether smartphones or laptops, something you invested in on your own always seems more valuable than something handed out to you. You probably won’t put as much thought into company-issued laptops. In other cases, even attentive employees find it challenging to keep track of every threat.

For many people, cleaning and retaining battery power is the extent of care they impart on company-issued laptops. However, they often miss out on the most crucial aspect of their devices: digital security. Throughout this piece, you’ll learn how to protect company-issued laptops to avoid leaks and viruses.

Threats you might face with company-issued laptops

As per Verizon’s research, 86% of all cybercrimes are financially motivated. It is why, in recent years, company-issued hardware is often within the sights of cybercriminals. They contain access to a vast database, are easily accessible, and usually possess several vulnerabilities. Some of the high-risk ones are mentioned below. In most cases, devices become susceptible to attacks because of poor management. That refers to both ends: companies and their employees.

Unsecured networks

Company-issued laptops offer flexibility for employees to work anywhere. Therefore, they will likely take laptops home. In other cases, they might squeeze in several tasks during their vacations abroad. All these activities have one thing in common: unknown networks laptops use.

Public Wi-Fi networks lack security measures and could compromise all resources laptops have. Therefore, companies should educate their employees about remote work and how to stay safe outside corporate internet networks.

Inadequate/lack of anti-virus software

Most SMBs rely on the default Windows Defender or Apple XProtect to keep their laptops secured. While they are excellent for regular use, company-issued computers often go over unsecured domains for testing or modifying existing projects. Thus, they get exposed to viruses or malware that might not be allowed easily on SSL-encrypted websites.

Pen drives and memory cards

Even if your company maintains a secure network and keeps updated anti-virus software for all employees, the physical security of the laptops is hard to ensure. As more professionals are working from home, they are allowed to take their devices off the premises. It makes them vulnerable as anyone can insert a pen drive or a memory card with a ghost load-up program, infecting the system as soon as it starts.

Measures to secure company-issued laptops

Now that you know how vulnerable company-issued laptops are, you can learn how to secure them from your end. Here are a few methods that can assist you with it.

Install and update a reliable anti-virus

You can ask your IT department to install premium anti-virus software for your company-issued laptops. There are many security tools to try. However, ensure that they have glowing recommendations from their users.

Keep your laptop physically secure

You can use a password lock for your laptop, but that is often not enough against tainted USBs someone can plug in. When carrying your laptops, always secure them within a sleeve or backpack. Alternatively, you can try out slot covers that prevent dust and other pollutants from making their way to the motherboard.

Use strong passwords

Your work email, cloud storage, and HR software have links to the organization’s server. Always use strong passwords, even if your supervisor tells you otherwise. Try to include numbers, special characters, and both case letters to make it hard for decryption software to guess it.

Never reveal too much

It is recommended that employees keep a low profile. Never share too much personal information or details about your work. In this case, accidental leaks of inside information could be a joy for companies’ competitors.

Do not install unknown software

Some companies might still monitoring software on their employees’ devices. One of the critical things for such programs is to oversee the programs people install. It works as means to prevent employees from accidentally installing malware or spyware. Additionally, it guarantees that all used software is legal and that devices are not used for personal reasons.

Use a VPN on unsecured networks

When employees connect to unsecured public Wi-Fi, snoopers could position themselves between the network and the device. It means that hackers see all data passing through this route. Therefore, install a VPN for Windows whenever you find yourself connecting to an unknown network. A Virtual Private Network masks your IP address from any other location in the world and encrypts all incoming and outgoing data. So, it creates a much more secure environment for work.

Final words

Handling a vast range of hardware, especially for a big business, comes with several responsibilities and cost additions. Still, keeping them secure is a big deal, as it can cost the companies millions if an unsavory individual or an ex-employee targets the organization. We hope this article helps you protect company-issued laptops to avoid leaks and viruses. It is always best to consult your employer and see what improvements can be made.

 

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Lisa has been covering Netflix since 2014, and has spent up to 10 years covering the comings and goings of the Streaming library. Currently resides in the United Kingdom. Outer Banks, Ozark, Black, and On My Block, and Stranger Things are among my favourite Netflix series.