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Protecting Your Tech From Human Sabotage

Don't let human error sabotage your technology.

All the firewalls, anti-virus software and spam killers in the world won't save you from poor user behavior. A recent survey of IT managers by security company GreenBorder showed that most of the malicious code they have to clean from computers resulted from mobile users bringing back "souvenirs" or from user behavior, such as downloading bad software.

There are ways to help protect your business from human error. "It's a two-pronged approach: education, and protecting [employees] from themselves. You need to educate [employees] about clicking on e-mail attachments and downloading software, [and] you need to have the appropriate security software on their computers," says Laura Yecies, general manager of Check Point Software Technologies' recently acquired Zone Labs division, a consumer and SMB network security provider.

A security suite should be installed on every laptop your mobile workers use. Employees should be instructed in proper user behavior. Points to mention include not using work e-mail for personal use, not installing peer-to-peer networking software or any other un-authorized programs, and not plugging gadgets like PDAs into work computers. Software is available that allows you to place usage restrictions on your server or block certain sites from employee access at work. A comprehensive technology and internet security policy is a good start, but also be sure to update the policy and keep employees trained and informed.

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This article was originally published in the June 2006 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Rogue Links.

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