How to Protect Your Travellers from Cyber Attacks

How to Protect Your Travellers from Cyber Attacks

by Meera Lakhani October 20, 2017

6 Actions To Increase Cyber Security

Did you know that an estimated 40% of data breaches are caused by external intrusions? As cyber attacks are being more sophisticated, the responsibility is on businesses to protect important data – without making it harder to do business.  

Business travellers, in particular, are at risk from data breaches because they are outside the security of the office. For travel managers, this poses a challenge. How can they help ensure important company data is kept safe? The good news is that there are steps you can take to help keep data secure before, during and after any business trip:

Safeguard your data during the booking process
Hospitality companies are increasingly being targeted by hackers because of the personal data they store.  Research by SpiderLabs discovered that of 218 data breach investigations, 38% of attacks targeted hotels.
When using booking sites for booking corporate travel, always be sure how they’re storing your data, as local laws regarding data storage and security vary. If sites are storing credit card details, ensure they’re using a hashed form, so that only the last few numbers are saved. 

Ensure travellers remove sensitive data from local storage
One of the easiest ways for criminals to access sensitive data is by stealing laptops, phones and other devices. Removing sensitive data from the local storage on all devices will make it harder for them to access. Basecamp, a US-based project management software company, asks in its travel policy that employees remove company data from devices when travelling and restore the data after.  

Use a secure connection to the internet
Where possible, advise travellers to use a trusted VPN connection. If this isn’t available, then use HTTPS connections. If this isn’t an option, ensure they’re aware that connections in public areas and hotels should be considered unsecure. These are particularly vulnerable to attack from cyber criminals. As well, communicate to travellers that any computers in these locations can also use keystroke logging to collect your information.

Advise travellers not to lend their work devices to anyone
Protect your travellers by ensuring they do not loan work devices to other people when travelling, as this increases the risk of theft. Provide travellers with relevant contact details, so they know who to contact, in the event of a stolen or lost device. That way, the risk of any data breaches can be minimised. 

After returning, check devices for malware and change passwords
Before re-connecting devices to trusted networks, have all devices used abroad checked for malware. Only allow them to be re-connected to the network once you’re certain the device is clean. This is particularly important if travellers suspect that their device might be compromised, as it risks infecting the whole network. As a matter of course, all passwords should be changed by travellers on returning to the office. 

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