Recent sources have revealed that Apple nixed plans to allow end-to-end encryption of iPhone backups to iCloud after complaints from the FBI.
When it comes to easy targets for cyberattacks, business travelers take the cake. In other words, hackers are uniquely interested in business travelers because they possess both personal and business data, and they are often poorly equipped with the security measures that would otherwise halt a hacker in their tracks. This leaves the door wide open for email monitoring, stealthy stealing of login credentials, computer and phone camera activation, and other sinister behavior.
So, what can a business traveler do to protect themselves?
Cincinnati IT services professional, James Forbis from 4BIS.COM offers some steps you can start taking right away. If it’s your employees who travel for business, be sure to inform them of the cyberthreats they face while away from the office with your company’s data and resources. These are generally simple steps that don’t require a lot of effort or know-how, but that can make a world of difference.
#1 Don’t carry a lot of devices with you.
If at all possible, limit the number of devices you carry with you while you travel. This will inherently diminish the threats you face. Most travelers will need a phone, and for work, you’ll likely need your laptop. But try to limit it to that. Additional phones and tablets may cause unnecessary risks.
#2 Adjust your location settings before departing.
Before leaving on your trip, go to your settings and turn off location monitoring for all apps and for the entire device. Remember that this may make directions apps (like Google Maps) and other third party services a bit more challenging to manage, but the security you’ll gain will be worth it.
#3 Be extra cautious of phishing scams.
When checking your email, be extra cautious of emails you wouldn’t expect to receive. That is, if you get an email that seems at all suspicious, take that as a sign to avoid it. This is true all the time but especially when you are traveling. Any suspicious emails should not be opened or clicked on if possible. Do not open or click on attachments, links, files, or photos. Report any suspicious communication as spam, and notify your company’s IT services department right away.
#4 If your devices are taken by border control and screened in any country, consider it compromised.
This is simply a precaution. If your device goes out of your hands or sight and border control is looking at it, it’s best to report this information to your company’s IT department as soon as possible so that they can scan the device for possible malware or other problems. Whenever your device leaves your possession, consider it exploited.
#5 Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi.
Public Wi-Fi connections (like those found at restaurants, cafes, hotels, and airports) can leave you vulnerable to easy hacks and data breaches. You’ll want to limit your exposure to these connections when at all possible. A good alternative is to use a Wi-Fi hotspot with the data service your phone offers. If you’ll be traveling out of the country, consider investing in a hotspot that can travel with you, or simply get a short-term phone plan with a secure phone company in the country you’re in (just be sure the hotspot service is available with this carrier as well).
#6 Limit your access to company data, programs, and services.
When using devices outside of your company’s networks, avoid tapping into your company’s services and networks as much as possible. This is an “in” to your company for hackers as your device will be an easy way to access larger, more sensitive data.
Are you traveling soon for work? Speak to your company’s IT department before departure to see if there are any other particular steps you should take.