Many senior business leaders travel regularly as part of their work. This means that they are often conducting business from connections that are less protected than what would be desired. A while back, the risk while traveling was limited to what documents could be stolen from a hotel or brief case, but now the risk extends to online accounts and business networks. The amount of data that can be stolen is almost limitless and there are numerous devices that can be breached to access different types of information. Sometimes these breaches are not just cyber, as mobile devices are sometimes directly modified or bugged to attain information.
There are a couple of strategies that businesses can employ, to limit the risks experienced while traveling:
1. Limit the use of mobile devices
Mobile devices are easy to misplace or have stolen when a busy executive is traveling. Not only is the device lost but the data on the device is lost or compromised. With the volume of apps that are maintained on many mobile devices, this could include a number of passwords and other company sensitive information. To combat the tendency for these mobile devices to compromise a company, many CEOs are advised to leave their mobile devices at home when traveling. If the device must be used on the trip, ensure that it cannot be lost or left behind. Also ensure that it has password and other encryption security and make sure that it is enabled at all times. This increases the data security for those devices by a fair distance. If a device must be left in a hotel room, make sure it is in a locked safe. This includes any mobile devices and laptops. Along with this, never leave a laptop unattended. It is easy for a laptop or other mobile device to be lifted, when you turn your back for a single minute.
2. Make sure any connections used are secure
Traveling executives regularly check in with the business back home to check on current projects or to get information on meetings or projects they are currently working on. All of this communication needs to be done through secure channels or private networks. These channels encrypt information and make it significantly more difficult to steal. Authenticators with a single entry codes are very useful for applications that need to be used when traveling. These access codes are very difficult to crack so they provide these applications with a considerable level of security. Networks that are heavily used and identified are clear targets for criminals searching for information so these should be avoided at all costs.
3. Be aware of what is going nearby
This is true for any traveler; it is vital to be aware of what is going on nearby. If an individual is paying unusual amounts of attention to an executive or lurking nearby, that person might be waiting for an opportunity to steal a device. They could also be eavesdropping or trying to watch for passwords that are entered into an application. The behavior of those around a traveler are vital clues to the security of a place and can be used to determine the safety of sharing information in that location.
4. Be aware of cyber threat levels in the region being visited
It is important to understand the climate of the region being visited. There are some countries where information theft is more wide spread than others. If one of these regions is the destination, then extra data security precautions will need to be taken. This might include avoiding Wi-Fi networks that are not as well protected as they should be and that can be used to siphon off information when not secured properly.
There are a variety of ways through which information can be stolen, ranging from eavesdropping and viewing open files on laptops to the actual theft and hacking of mobile devices and connections. It is important to be aware of the risks and to use encrypted and secured networks as much as possible. If an area seems unsafe or unsecure, avoid transmitting sensitive data or passwords until security can be assured. traveling.