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Five cybersecurity "musts" when traveling for business

February 2023 by NordLayer

Business travelers are incredibly vulnerable because they often carry sensitive personal and business data on various devices, such as smartphones and laptops.

Cybersecurity threats that people face while traveling, such as unsecure Wi-Fi networks, file sharing, and phishing, can lead to many types of data breaches – and business travelers are just as much at risk. Poor security can rapidly turn travel experiences into a professional nightmare.

"Millions of people work remotely, often thousands of miles away from the head offices. Other workers regularly travel the globe as digital nomads. Remote work can be liberating and convenient, but it is also risky – poor email security, not following compliance regulations, and device theft. In the US alone, a laptop is being stolen every 53 seconds," says Carlos Salas, an engineering manager at NordLayer.

Carefully investigate your business trip destination

Unfortunately, not all countries share the same safety level, have good internet connections, or offer affordable internet prices if you need to work remotely for several days due to a business trip.

NordLayer’s study, the global remote work index, reveals all of the data on this topic, allowing readers to compare countries and decide on the best location to work remotely. The best countries mix strong governance and infrastructure with a high standard of living. And they aren’t always the ones you would expect.

For example, in terms of cybersecurity alone, Slovakia leads the rankings. Lithuania is second, while Germany comes in third. All three take security seriously, responding rapidly when a security breach occurs.

Luckily, with the right set of tools and knowledge, any business traveler can prevent a breach from happening. Carlos Salas provides a cybersecurity checklist for safe business travels:

Be careful about using social media. Do not share your location with contacts on social networks. Online scammers seek out such information for social engineering attacks.
Update software. Updates are usually rolled out to fix various vulnerabilities discovered in the software. This means that postponing means deliberately risking the security of the device.
Avoid automatic connectivity. Many devices connect to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi automatically, even if their owners are unaware. Turn location sharing, auto-connections, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth off whenever possible.
Stick to reliable Wi-Fi networks. In cases when only public Wi-Fi is available, make sure to use a VPN to protect your device. Bonus: it can also broaden the content available to you.
Lock devices and apps securely. Don’t shy away from strong password security and authentication. It may be time-consuming, but adding extra authentication measures is an effective countermeasure if thieves strike.

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