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Top Tips for Protecting Company Data While Traveling


As the vacation season is coming to an end, and the temperatures are beginning to decrease, people are waving goodbye to their summer vacations, joining the rush hour and reconnecting their work laptops to the company network. However, with this rush back to work comes an increase in something every employer dreads - not vacation photos, but cyberattacks! In fact, according to Hackmaggedon, cyberattacks are 10% higher than usual in September. 

While the company laptop is vital when traveling on business trips, bringing it anywhere can expose your company network to cyber criminals looking to hijack unprotected devices. A recent survey from IBM Security showed more than 70% of travelers have exposed themselves to cyber risks through high-risk behaviors, which includes 45% of business travelers carrying a device containing sensitive information. With this in mind, it is important for companies to reconsider how they expect employees to use their devices outside of the office.

"Connecting to a public Wi-Fi network, whether outside or on vacation always carries a certain degree of risk," said Bryan Becker, DAST product manager at WhiteHat Security. "I would advise not accessing anything of value while on a public network, including email or accounts that need to be logged into. However, organizations can provide their employees access to a virtual private network, or VPN, which forces all traffic to travel through an encrypted channel.  In this case, using external WiFi networks is generally safe. For organizations that want to take things to the next level, they can even set up employees' computers or accounts to only be accessible when on the company VPN, preventing a situation where a user might forget to secure themselves before checking their email."

"The temptation to connect to the quickest and easiest Wi-Fi network when traveling is dangerous when considering the bad actors seeking opportunities to steal your personal information from these weak or public Wi-Fi networks," said Roderick Bauer, marketing director at Backblaze. "If you do need to access public Wi-Fi networks, remember to use strong passwords and change them often, look for the HTTPS prefix in a URL to signify it has a Secure Socket Layer (SSL), turn off sharing abilities on your devices, reject requests to share data, and set up a virtual private network (VPN) to protect your connection by routing your traffic through a secure network while still enjoying the freedom of public Wi-Fi."

These experts in cybersecurity and data protection believe these are a few best practices to protect company data while traveling. As you leave behind your summer vacations, consider these best tips to avoid dealing with the disturbance of an attack on your network, as your staff return from their vacations.
Published Tuesday, September 10, 2019 10:09 AM by David Marshall
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