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Road Warrior Information Security Survival Guide icon

Road Warrior Information Security Survival Guide

Security breaches are a significant threat in a standard office environment; however, when an organization has employees working from home or on the go, these risks become even greater . 1

Road warriors use mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones with internet connectivity while traveling to conduct business.  Despite increased awareness, many employees do not take the necessary precautions for deterring security risks.  Without adequately protecting the data on your mobile devices, you are virtually inviting the public inside your corporation’s networks and information.

email phishing checklistFollow these simple steps below to protect yourself and your organization during your travels.

Be aware of your surroundings

It’s important to have a sense of situational awareness.  Who are you talking to and sharing information with?  Who knows where you’re going? Sharing this information with the wrong parties can make you an easy target. 2

Protect your laptop against theft

Many different methods exist to protect your device from theft.  Marking your laptop with either an engraving or tamper-resistant asset tag will deter thieves.  If your laptop has a universal security slot, utilize a security cable to attach it to a table or desk.

Avoid using public computers

Public computers pose a huge number of security risk. 3  You don’t know who used the computer before, or who will use it after, and you have no knowledge of what viruses, malware or key-loggers might be running on this device. 4

Use strong passwords

Don’t use easily guessable passwords, especially ones including your name, birthdate, favorite color or something easily guessable as a password.  Strong passwords using a combination of numbers, letters and symbols will make life much more difficult for malicious users.  Phones at the very least should use a PIN or better yet fingerprint scan.  Always lock your screen when the device is not used. 5

Use multi-factor authentication

Use multi-factor authentication whenever possible when accessing accounts online.  This adds another step to the authentication process, typically pairing something the user knows, such as a password, with an action, or something the user has, such as a SMS message to their phone, email or a token.

Disable Auto-Logon

Some operating systems automatically log on with specified user credentials, this gives unauthorized users a free ticket to your data and is ill-advised when travelling with important corporate information on your laptop.

Avoid sensitive online transactions when using open Wi-Fi networks

Typically, secure websites use HTTPS which encrypts data passed back and forth between your computer and the web server, but other sites will default to HTTP connections.  If browsing includes sharing sensitive information, like banking or credit card information, it’s best to wait until you’re on a more secure Wi-Fi network. 6

Secure any personal, banking or credit card details

Never allow your web browser to remember personal information because it provides another avenue hackers can use to retrieve sentinel material if your device is lost or stolen.  Using reputable password keepers is a better alternative if necessary.

Use VPN technology, or remote access applications

VPN tunnels allow the road warrior to remotely become part of the home or office network.  Then, all the business applications, file sharing and internet access are handled by the company’s network.  There are many hardware and software VPN application solutions to choose from which will ensure that all your communication is encrypted and secure.

Keep your operating system and applications up to date

Many of the latest hacks take advantage of vulnerabilities which exist on unpatched operating systems and applications.  To eliminate many attack vectors caused by vulnerabilities, ensure your computer is always up to date.  Ensure laptops are rebooted regularly to install any pending updates.  7

Have a strong Anti-Virus Solution

Ensure that your anti-virus is a complete, multilayer security solution that includes ransomware protection, prevention of vulnerability exploits and malicious behavior detection.

Encrypt your computer and USB flash drives

If a hacker has physical access to your machine or storage devices, they have easy access to your data.  Encrypting your device storage, files and USB drives renders them extremely difficult for a malicious user to decipher. 8

Use a privacy screen filter for laptops

Don’t be prone to “shoulder surfing”.  Someone watching closely can figure out your password or can read confidential information leading to data leakage. 9

Enable find my device

Easily find a lost or misplaced device with the “find my device” feature if the device supports it, and it’s enabled.  This feature is often not enabled by default and needs to be activated.

Enable a secure password when using a mobile hotspot

Modern cellular devices can act as a Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing your laptop to share the data provided by your cellular provider and give internet access where no public Wi-Fi exists.  Ensure your hotspot is configured with a password to secure your connection.

Disable Window’s file and printer sharing

By default, this feature is disabled, but many enable this feature to share printers or files while on a work or home network.  Having this feature enabled while on the road can give unauthorized access to your files by anyone who is on the same Wi-Fi network as you. 10

Art Korneluk

Systems Engineer

10 Wi-Fi security tips for road warriors – TechRepublic

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