BYOD on the Road: The Risks of Traveling with Your Computing Device

With laptop computers and mobile devices, it’s easier than ever to do your work on the road. Whether you’re on a business trip, vacation, or just on a regular commute, you can check email, finish working on an assignment you need to hand in, or make an important call.

The convenience and flexibility are amazing. But you also have to be cognizant of the serious risks.

A  recent article  from eSecurity Planet offers 10 tips for improving your security during business travel. The risks they describe in this article include the following:

      • Networks and Wi-Fi hotspots with poor security. As explained in the article, cyber criminals themselves can set up their own Wi-Fi hotspots near popular business venues, increasing the chances that they’ll gain access to your device. On a poorly secured network, you might find yourself downloading what you think are legitimate software updates but are in fact malware disguised to look like common software programs.
      • The use of public computers. Travelers might rely on these for websites requiring passwords, such as an email account or an online account with an airline or bank. But how do you know the device isn’t compromised, exposing your sensitive data?
      • Theft. There’s always the chance that your laptop or mobile device will get stolen. If the proper protections aren’t in place, such as the ability to remotely disable a device, your data could easily fall into the hands of hackers.

Although the tips in the article are helpful, you need to also step back and make sure you have a general security plan for devices outside your office. Even an employee working from home, as opposed to traveling, could potentially compromise your data.

What are your  BYOD  policies? What devices do you permit your employees to work on, how do you protect those devices, and how do you guide employees on separating their work from anything personal they do on their devices?

Your general BYOD policies will also affect the guidelines you lay out for employees when they travel, increasing the risk of having their device hacked or stolen perhaps in a foreign country or out-of-state. Don’t hesitate to  contact us  to discuss the possible risks and develop a plan to protect your computing devices both at home and abroad.