5 Crucial Cybersafety Tips for Business Travelers
The digital age has created numerous opportunities for disparate teams spread across multiple cities, countries, or regions to collaborate through video conferencing technology. This has greatly reduced the need for business travel, but it has not eliminated it. Whether visiting a remote office or attending a conference, professionals must access corporate resources and utilize corporate devices while on the road and on unfamiliar networks. This poses a significant cybersecurity risk for both the individual as well as the organization, but with a few best practices, these risks can be mitigated. And remember, these strategies are useful to maintain digital security while on vacation, not just business trips.
1. Book Your Travel Securely
Most people today book their travel plans online, and there are dozens of websites that offer this service while promising the lowest booking rates. It is worth vetting these websites before making any travel arrangements through their services. Try to book lodgings with hotels that take additional security precautions, like how Rotana uses highly-secure e-signatures for guest check-in and check-out.
Make sure the sites are secure by clicking on the “lock” icon next to your browser. Next, only make purchases on the site if they are using a secure payment method or utilize a secure payment provider, such as Paypal.
2. Avoid Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks
The beauty of Wi-Fi is that it can be accessed from almost anywhere in the world, regardless of your locality. But Wi-Fi also poses a significant security risk to your device and organization. Under no circumstances should you connect to an unfamiliar Wi-Fi network in a public space, and you should use a virtual private network (VPN) whenever connected to any public Wi-Fi.
Even if a Wi-Fi network seems to be appropriate for your location, you should verify that it is the correct network before connecting. It is easy for a cybercriminal to generate a Wi-Fi network from their device and then use it to infiltrate devices that connect to it.
For example, while sitting down for a morning cappuccino, you encounter a public network with no password requirements called “Coffee-House Wi-Fi”. This could be the official Wi-Fi network for the coffee shop, but it could also be the first step in a cyberattack. In this instance, you should simply confirm with the staff what is the correct network for the coffee shop, and then use a VPN once connected.
In addition, you should consider what kind of Wi-Fi you are connected to before conducting certain activity on your device. If you connect to the legitimate Wi-Fi network offered by your local coffee shop, you still should not conduct any banking activities on your mobile app, but casual browsing of shopping on well-known established websites should be safe.
3. Turn Off Automatic Bluetooth Connection
Bluetooth connections pose the same security risks as unsecured Wi-Fi connections. Many people leave the Bluetooth feature activated on their devices, which allows the device to search for compatible Bluetooth connections and automatically connect. Attackers can use this automatic connection to gain access to your device.
For that reason, it is advised that you turn off your automatic Bluetooth connection before leaving the house each day and particularly before heading to any crowded public space like an airport. Once safely in your home, hotel, or car, an attack through your Bluetooth becomes far less likely.
Generally, you should try to leverage hard connections wherever possible when in public spaces. Use wired headphones or wired speakers for your mobile device. Hard connections of much harder to exploit by cyber criminals.
4. Make Use of Digital Security Solutions
There are myriad digital security solutions available, both for individual and enterprise use. Explore what options you have and make use of ones that will work well for your needs, especially overseas or outside of the office. Ask your financial institution about what security they provide for their mobile and online channels and take advantage of mobile authentication to protect enterprise data.
Some security solutions to consider are:
- Multi-factor Authentication
- Mobile App Security
- Email Encryption
In addition, only download apps from the two established marketplaces, the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Though these platforms are not perfect, they weed out many of the cloned or corrupted apps that could compromise your device.
5. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication
Using two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication is a sure way to increase the security of your accounts. These solutions require users to provide a second or multiple authentication factors in order to access the secured account. These factors could take the form of a one-time password or biometric challenge, such as a fingerprint scan. You should be certain to enable multi-factor authentication wherever possible.
Strong Security Comes from a Combination of Tools
It is often said that security is a journey and not a destination. There is no single tool, no turn-key solution that will provide flawless, impregnable security for your device and mobile apps. That being said, security is greatly increased by using a combination of tools. Leverage multi-factor authentication, biometrics, one-time passwords, mobile app security, and more to protect your data and your business when traveling.
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