Software Options to Increase Security Within Law Enforcement

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According to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), people rely so much on their computers for shopping and communication that online security must be a priority. Law enforcement agencies handle and store extremely sensitive information, so their security software must be even higher and more stringent.

Mandatory Passwords Changes
Most businesses follow the standard practice of requiring all employees to change their access credentials every 90 days. It is not necessary to change usernames, but passwords must be changed. Procrastination is a bad idea because the longer that passwords remain the same, the more likely they will be compromised by cyber criminals. Be sure to include a detailed how-to guide for employees that explains how to change and why it’s so important. Passwords should contain at least one number and uppercase letter. Network administrators should ensure that default log-in screens cannot save usernames and passwords. Employees should also be instructed to always log-out and never leave a computer unattended.

Employ Robust Security Software

The best type of security software programs are diverse and multi-functional. For example, they may come with a free firewall or rootkit scanner. Some come with options that allow IT administrators to test networks and payment terminals for data breach vulnerabilities. Ideally, law enforcement organizations will continuously conduct vulnerability scans in order to identify weak areas and close off security loopholes. In addition to this, security professionals are needed to perform customized tests that benchmark current standards and software. If there is a breach, they will be able to forensically trace the problem and reverse engineer a solution.

Use a Separate Payment Terminal Network
Like most businesses, law enforcement organizations accept online payments for certain serviced. For instance, police may sell comprehensive crime reports or personal legal histories. Law enforcement organizations must separate their payment terminal network from their regular network to decrease the likelihood of cyber-attacks. Because most cyber criminals hack into networks through employees, such as through phishing emails, they can often steal sensitive data. Instead, establish a separate network for payments that only has a few authorized users. If possible, separate data archiving to a isolated and highly secured internal network.

Install a Super Firewall
Almost all computers come with an installed firewall, but cyber-criminals are continually discovering new system vulnerabilities. A proper firewall is the first line of defense for stopping hackers and malware from infecting computers. To illustrate, firewalls automatically detect when large amounts of data are being extracted from or surreptitiously inserted into the network. If the activity has not been authorized by the appropriate personnel, the firewall will automatically shut down the process. If possible, install separating firewalls for the network and VPN service.

Protecting the public’s personal information is a priority for law enforcement agencies. Additional ideas include file encryption, server locks and permission tools.