When a workplace or home evacuation happens, do you have a minimal plan for safekeeping your data? The emergencies that can cause an evacuation can be, but are not limited to:
- Bomb threat
- Weather disaster
- Law enforcement called
- Broken water pipes
Sometimes an evacuation can be used to easily infiltrate a workplace because people panic and leave everything as is on the way out, leaving nearly all devices open to being stolen, bugged, or used in a malicious way.
During an evacuation, your data may be vulnerable to being lost in an accident, disaster, or even someone unauthorized walking in and stealing what they want. Here are some things to keep in mind in your emergency evacuation plans:
During an evacuation, you or your employees could:
- Eject and pull out data stored on USB drives or removable hard drives and bring them with you.
- Of course, lock your machines prior to leaving your office, any time you leave your office.
- If there are laptops everyone is working on, have everyone take them, and recollect them after you gather them back up outside of the business area.
- Have fire&water proof safe(s) open and available to store data-holding devices or laptops in case of an evacuation. If you have the keys available on them, close and lock them immediately after placing your data in them. The theory behind fire+water proof safes is that the safe will last about 30 minutes or so in fire and the water proof-ness is for when the firemen arrive within that 30 minutes to douse your place with jets of water.
- Have encrypted cloud backups of your data, or at least your vital data, done regularly (we have details on setting this up in a another assessment)
- If an emergency evacuation situation prevents a chance to save your data (like a fire near your safe or you get very limited time to exit a building collapsing), then don’t save your data! Save you and your employee’s lives and evacuate.
Basically, make sure that there is no easy way for any thief to access or take your stuff while you’re away, especially if you have to leave in a hurry. These guidelines can be part of your policies you write to follow during emergencies.
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