4 Important Data Security Measures for Libraries

December 24, 2019

Amid all the news stories of 2019—and there were some big ones—some of the most important ones that people should be paying more attention to have to do with data breaches. 2019 saw major data breaches occur, ranging from small scale malware attacks to large, widespread issues. Whether it’s the entire city of New Orleans being placed in a state of emergency due to a cyberattack around Thanksgiving or the hacking of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, it’s clear to see that no industry is exempt from being targeted.

This should worry everyone, including local libraries who feel they may not be on the hit list of cyberattackers. In reality, hackers have no preference as to who they hone in on; they just want to hack into systems and hold information hostage. For libraries, this means it’s not a matter of if, but when, when it comes to a cyberattack. And when one occurs, is your library ready?

1. The Case for Cyber Library Insurance

Libraries don’t just house books and documents anymore. In the last decade, we’ve seen a major shift in our public libraries, turning them into everything from tech hubs to media houses to public forum centers where local business people and artists can come together. Libraries are multifunctional now and house some of the latest and greatest technologies. But, in order to operate as the transformed entity they are now, libraries need to be aware of the dangers that they face in this tech-driven world.

Libraries are filled with computers that come with good bandwidth and local access to networks. And since libraries have always been and still are a place for open access to information, they make a great target for potential hackers. This should paint a clear picture as to the importance of network security and carrying cyber library insurance coverage that can come together to protect a library from harm and supply the resources it needs when following an attack of any size and scale.

Knowing what dangers are out there and what measures to take when it comes to cybersecurity are the keys to a healthy digital landscape for the public and the local library system.

2. Audits and Updates

When was the last time your library look into security issues and take stock of its entire network security? Getting a professional to come in and perform a security audit can help reveal a number of vulnerabilities and help to focus in on what needs to be patched up or strengthened.

Also, it’s important to check that all computers and devices, like tablets and phones, are all updated with the latest software. Did you update the latest browser plug-in for the computer, like Flash or Acrobat? Are all updates to your operating system done? Checking these things can help to avoid open risks within your system.

3. Backing Up the System

Backups are there when you have a problem with your network system, so it’s important to see if they are ready to be able to step in in a time of need. This can help you check to see that all files are backed up properly and can be used the way they’re meant to. Also, checking to see the length of time you back up your files, like every day or every few days, is key to keeping things as updated and protected as possible.

4. Apple Issues

If your library operates under the Apple banner, you may have heard at one time that you have less to worry about in terms of network security and data hygiene. However, while there are more Windows computers to target and hack, Apple has had problems of its own in terms of security. This means it’s more important now than ever when it comes to staying updated on your iOS updates and applications that are used.

We still don’t have the ability to stop all cyber threats before they start, and the sheer arbitrary movement of one cyberattack victim to the other makes it frustrating for libraries to determine the threat level they face. But making sure you’re keeping your library as safe and updated as possible can help to avoid major security issues down the road.

About Regan Agency

A family-owned business, Long Island-based Regan Agency has more than 35 years of experience serving the library insurance and risk management needs of Tri-State residents and businesses. We have earned the trust of our clients based on our integrity and commitment to offer individuals and businesses quality library insurance products at competitive prices backed by unparalleled responsive service. Just give one of our professionals a call at 631-669-3434.