Basic IT & Communications Security Measures
In today’s electronic age, large numbers of us carry numerous electronic devices on assignment. This equipment can be accessed, jammed, hacked or intercepted easily by correctly trained personnel. Therefore, it is of extreme importance that we take advice and put in to place, basic security measures to prevent or at least decrease the chances of this occurring and provide ourselves with a basic level of IT and Communications personal security.
Below are some basic methods to assist you.
If using Satellite phones
a. If possible, only have it switched on when you require the use of it
b. Attempt to only use SMS text messages to communicate with people wherever possible
c. If using the phone to make a voice call, try to keep it short and concise and then power down the phone(If you are making a long call and the connection stays live, the longer you on the phone, the easier it is for interception and direction finding).
d. Remove the battery when not in use
e. Thuraya requires the use of GPS to register and function, whereas Iridium does not. Iridium calls and data transfer are inherently more secure than GSM, Thuraya or Inmarsat traffic.
f. Use a PIN to lock the phone whenever possible
g. Store the SIM separately wherever possible
h. Delete unwanted SMS
If using BGAN
a. Attempt to only have the system switched on when you actually require the use of the equipment, again the longer it is transmitting, the easier it is for interception and direction finding.
b. If you need to have the link up for a long amount of time, ensure you move locations if applicable. Again, due to interception and direction finding methods, the signal is extremely easy to locate, but by moving locations you lessen your chances of setting a pattern.
c. If you have a wireless BGAN, attempt to connect any laptops via a Ethernet connection rather than wireless as wireless networks are easier to hack.
d. Use traffic encryption and low bandwidth IT security measures wherever possible
e. Any laptops used to connect to a BGAN should be ideally dedicated communications laptops, at a minimum password protected, and ideally encrypted
If using GPS
a. Remember, GPS hand helds are only a receiver; therefore it is not transmitting and should not be an issue.
b. Loss of GPS signal may be an indication of localised jamming activity
c. Do not store particularly sensitive locations on the GPS as memory or waypoints
d. Delete previous locations prior to deploying to a new area or country
e. Use tracks rather than overlayd mapping wherever possible
If using mobile phones
a. Extremely easy to jam, intercept and direction find
b. Cell towers can be jammed quite easily, however as one cell only covers a particular area, they other cells in the area may not, therefore if safe to do so, attempt to locate a different cell tower.
c. Keep your voice calls to a minimum, if you require to make a call, keep it short and concise to minimise transmission time
d. Keep phone switched off and battery removed if applicable
e. Keep the phone locked with a password
f. Store the SIM separately wherever possible
g. Delete unwanted SMS
h. Do not pin point secure or safe locations through speech or text – use code word/s or phrase to identify them rather than real world locations
If using Laptops
a. Keep antivirus software up to date
b. Keep Operating systems up to date
c. Use Ethernet connections rather than wireless networks
d. Ensure you enable a password to access your laptop
e. Keep important documents safe
f. If possible use a secure method of accessing data, for example, SECURE EDGE
g. Encrypt contents wherever possible
h. Use separate, dedicated communications laptops wherever possible
By implementing basic security measures, you will increase your knowledge and decrease the chances of a perpetrator accessing, hacking or intercepting your electronic devices.
If you have any questions relating to IT or Communications security please get in touch!