Working from anywhere is now as simple as accessing the internet on any number of devices. Managers, owners, and employees are all embracing the flexibility of working while travelling, making it the new norm.
But while you were in the office, you were protected by professionally designed firewalls, security infrastructure, and robust software. As soon as you step away from the building, those protections disappear, leaving your device and the data inside at greater risk.
Cyber attackers love to collect any data they can obtain, often preferring to hack first, assess value later. It doesn’t help that almost all data can be sold, including your personal details, those of your clients and suppliers, as well as your proprietary business data. These days, the information stored on your device is usually worth much more than the device itself.
Here are 3 ways a hacker will attack:
Making use of Opportunity – getting hold of the device
Whether an employee left their laptop at a café or a thief stole the phone from their pocket, the outcome is the same – that device is gone. Hackers will take advantage of any opportunity to gain access to a device, including taking them from hotel rooms and even asking to ‘borrow’ them for a few minutes to install spyware, before handing it back.
Have you ever handed your smartphone to a stranger, asking them to take a photo for you?
Spoofing a Wi-Fi Hotspot
We’ve all come to expect free Wi-Fi networks wherever we go – we can even create them ourselves using smartphones. Hackers will take advantage of this trust to create their own free, insecure network, just waiting for a traveller to check a quick email.
When they do, they can monitor traffic and if your device is not secured, hackers can obtain all sorts of information.
Intercepting an Insecure Network
Hackers don’t need to own the Wi-Fi network to steal content from it. Data travelling across an insecure genuine network is visible and available to anyone with the right software.
Taking these four precautions will help to increase cyber safety and help to protect your business data while on the move: –
1. Make a backup before you travel: In the event that your device is lost or damaged, you’ll be able to replace the device with a new one and quickly restore all the data from a backup, all with minimal downtime. (Also bear in mind that many devices have a remote delete or lock function in the event of a theft – if yours does you may want to consider it).
2. Don’t use public Wi-Fi: Wait until you have access to a secure network before going online – even just to check email.
3. Use passwords and encryption: At a minimum, make sure you have a password on your device, or even better, have full drive encryption. That way, even if your data storage is removed from the device, the contents are inaccessible.
4. Act fast after loss: If your device is lost or stolen, immediately notify the appropriate people. This might include your IT provider so they can change passwords, your bank so they can lock down accounts, and any staff or colleagues who need to be aware of the breach, so they aren’t tricked into allowing further breaches.
So much personal, financial and business information is now held on our mobile devices that they are a potential goldmine for the wrong people. Think objectively and try to minimise the risk now, because a cyber breach is happening to someone else whilst you are reading this – don’t let it be you.
Need help with mobile cyber security? Call us at 01455 209505.