Why is it important to have a secure laptop?  Losing a laptop or having one stolen can be disastrous for any business.  Not only will it leave you unable to work until you find a replacement, but if the laptop has Personal Health Information (PHI) on it, you might have to report a breach under HIPAA.

Here are eight tips that you can use to be sure you have a secure laptop.

1) Encryption

Deploy whole disk encryption on every laptop:

2) Keep Encryption Records

When you’re done, take a screenshot that shows that the encryption is turned on.  You’ll need this in case of a breach investigation.

3) Strong Password

Use a strong password that is UNIQUE.  A passphrase is a terrific way to have a strong password that’s easy to memorize.

4) Asset Tags

Put an asset tag, engraving, and/or locked screen message that lets someone return a found laptop to your practice.  Make sure it has some way to contact you, like your phone number.

5) Track it

Install a utility that tracks the location of computer if lost / stolen like Lojack for Laptops.  If you use a Mac, you can use the free Find My Mac service.

6) Policy

Have a clear policy and training on secure laptops.  The policy should clearly tell people how to protect laptops away from the office and sanctions policy of what will happen if policy isn’t followed

7) Scan for Encryption

Use a monitoring/scanning utility like Nessus to confirm all computers in your organization are encrypted

8) Scan for PHI

Use a monitoring/scanning utility like Nessus to identify what PHI is stored on each laptop

Conclusion

If you implement all eight of these tips in your practice, you’ll be able to sleep better at night knowing that a lost or stolen laptop won’t ruin your business.

Want to protect your business from hackers and insiders?  Want to make sure you’re doing the right things for HIPAA compliance?  Talk with an Adelia Risk consultant to learn more.

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