Do you do enough to protect your data when you're on the move?
Our smartphones, tablets and computers, as well as our TVs, refrigerators, bathroom scales and so on, are now becoming increasingly, and almost permanently, connected.
With this trend of having everything connected all the time, the scope of cyber attacks is increasing, as is the number of attempts.
As a result, both our sensitive personal and professional data is becoming increasingly vulnerable.
Following the growing number of cyber attacks, businesses and public authorities are becoming highly aware of the threat. As a result, organisations such as ANSSI, the French National Cybersecurity Agency, and training centres are promoting good practices to protect our data when it is at its most vulnerable—during our business trips.
The main advice is as follows:
1 – Fully understand the nature of the data that you are taking with you.
2 – Keep communication regarding the location and objective of your business trip to a minimum.
3 – Update any software on your portable devices, particularly anti-virus software.
4 – Limit connections to public networks to restrict access to your equipment. If you do need to connect, use a virtual private network (VPN) where possible.
5 – Do not leave your devices unattended.
6 – If you have any doubts about your equipment, ask your IT department to check it as soon as you return and before you connect to your company's network.
All this advice is further developed in the training modules, and it will limit but not fully eliminate the risks, especially if your equipment is lost or stolen.
If you feel that these precautions are a bit of a burden, there might be another solution. You can store your sensitive data on an external drive, separate to your smartphone or computer. This is not a new technique, but protection measures have greatly improved. The French company "Freemindtronic" recently developed a standalone access control system based on NFC technology. As a result, you can now kit yourself out with an authentic digital safe in the form of a USB flash drive that can be unlocked using NFC from an Android smartphone. Combined with the Full key application, the EVIKEY USB flash drive can be unlocked in several different ways and features advanced functionalities such as authorisation to access data in a defined geographical area or during a specific time period.
The French company has appointed RS Components to distribute its flash drives, which will be sold under the RS Pro brand.
Take a look at ANSSI's (French National Cybersecurity Agency's) recommendations for business trips abroad: Click here