Michael Fimin, CEO and co-founder of Netwrix, reveals his top cybersecurity tips and explains how to improve privacy and security of your mobile devices while travelling for business Road warriors have to be vigilant. Besides their normal work, they are asked to maintain continuous electronic presence while away from office. Using smartphones, tablets and laptops during business trips involves certain risks for data security, such as hostile Wi-Fi networks or portable devices that may be lost or stolen.
According to the 2016 Ponemon research, 67% of IT pros believe that they had a data breach due to employees using mobile devices to access company’ sensitive information. In the wake of evolving cyber threats, it is vital to adopt several techniques that will help you minimize potential risks associated with mobile devices and protect critical assets against loss or exfiltration.
Cybersecurity tips #1: Encrypt devices and use password protection.
There are variety of simple things employees can do to safeguard data. One of them is requiring passwords to log in. However, you need to implement additional security measures to protect sensitive information in case someone gets physical access to your devices, and encrypting the hard drive is exactly the case.
If files that make up your operating system are on the encrypted disk, there’s a little chance for someone to access them, until you unlock the disk.
Cybersecurity tips #2: Endpoint security.
The threats of viruses and other forms of malware are always present. Although most operating systems include build-in firewall feature, you still need to secure your endpoints with antimalware and antivirus software, Web filters and firewalls, USB drive and botnet protection tools.
Comprehensive approach to endpoint security will help you keep critical systems and data safe from both current and emerging threats (e.g. zero-day attacks and ransomware).
Cybersecurity tips #3: Keeping systems up to date.
Most of software updates are released periodically, when vulnerabilities or bugs have been found. Since older versions of your most frequently used applications may not support high encryption or have other security flaws, it is essential to update them as promptly as possible.
Enable automatic updates and make sure that you currently have the latest versions of the operating system, antivirus software, firewall, Web browser and Wi-Fi client applications.
Cybersecurity tips #4: Understanding risk of public connections.
One of the biggest threats to Wi-Fi security is the ability for hackers to position themselves between you and the connection point, which empowers them to gain access to any information you’re working with (e.g. emails and credentials to your business network), or plant infected software on your device. Avoid automatically connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots and always use VPN to browse on a public network.
This will allow you to effectively use a “private tunnel”, which encrypts all the traffic that passes through the network, thus preventing criminals from intercepting this data.
Practice shows that layered approach is the key to securing your devices while traveling. You need to keep an eye on physical, network and data security at the same time, as well as have visibility into critical changes and user activities.
Finally, organizations might consider establishing comprehensive cybersecurity policy for traveling personnel and make sure that these procedures are utilized by everyone.
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Written by Michael Fimin.
Michael Fimin is an accomplished expert in information security, CEO and co-founder of Netwrix. Netwrix delivers complete visibility into who did what, when and where across the entire IT infrastructure.