Dave Kinsey 2015-07-21 01:28:48
Whether you are heading out of town for a family vacation or away on business, you are likely bringing mobile devices that have access to company data. Despite the best IT network security design at the office, never assume you have the same level of security when traveling. Implement these simple pretravel strategies so you can relax and enjoy your time away. 1 – Have software on your devices to enable remote-wipe capability You likely have your phone integrated to connect with your company’s network. What would happen if you lost it? Chances are confidential information could be compromised. Your firm’s systems should be configured so that every phone or tablet that connects MUST accept proper security settings before it can connect in the first place. This way, you simply set it up once and then know that all mobile devices are automatically protected. Your firm may also consider utilizing data loss prevention software to enable remote wipe of laptops. 2 – Use Wi-Fi cautiously A secure Wi-Fi connection goes a long way toward protecting your data. Public Wi-Fi connections (like those at the airport and hotels) are not good choices. Open Wi-Fi spots do not encrypt data, so using them opens your device like an open book to hackers, and should not be trusted. Disable any Wi-Fi adapters and do not enable the option to connect automatically. Always connect to an encrypted Wi-Fi connection. Using your mobile phone’s hot spot can be a great solution on the road, but can drain your battery quickly. Consider a Mi-Fi device that will provide better performance and last for hours. 3 – Keep your email, Web and endpoint security up-to-date One of the best ways to keep your mobile devices secure is to make sure your operating system and software is always up-to-date. Invest in business class security solutions and services that are continuously updated, monitored and patched. 4 – Use secure file sharing solutions Select a business-grade file sync solution that will provide controls over your company data. Unlike consumer-grade solutions such as Dropbox, a business grade solution arms your IT administrators with robust security and control features. This way, you will have visibility over where your data is and be able to remotely wipe any data that is lost or stolen. There are very affordable solutions (though not free) that must be used to avoid potential data breaches and ethics violations. If you don’t provide this for your employees, they will creatively come up with their own (nonsecure) solutions, creating unacceptable risks. 5 – Lock all mobile devices with a strong password or passcode Use at least a four-digit PIN on mobile phones and a strong password on your laptop (once again, enforced by your network settings as a prerequisite to connect). For system passwords, choose passwords that are memorable, but not easy to guess. Passphrases with uncommon words can help make good passwords that are easy to remember, such as fluffy is puffy. Adding a few uppercase letters and substituting a symbol makes it even stronger, like flUffyi$puffY. In all cases, the longer the password, the better. Consider if two factor authentication (where you additionally need a code supplied by your phone) is appropriate. 6 – Encrypt all of your mobile devices Simply using a password will not stop a criminal from removing the hard drive from your laptop and accessing the data. Encrypting your entire hard drive protects your business and personal data, and can eliminate the need to report data loss to your client or other parties in the event of a loss. Once again, phones and tablets should be simply required by network settings to be encrypted before they are allowed to connect to your network. For laptops, consider a managed encryption solution so that your IT folks can positively report that the device was encrypted at the time it was lost. 7 – Back up your data Even superheroes need a backup sometimes. Understand your firm’s backup strategy and think through the possible scenarios from which you might need to recover. The data on your laptop may not be automatically included in the firm’s backups. Be prepared for the worst – be it human error accidentally deleting a file, hardware failure, or an unfortunate malware attack – and you will be able to recover your work product and be back in business in no time.
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