How to Keep Your Data Safe When You’re On A Business Trip
Business trips are part and parcel of being an employee. While necessary, they are also a source of potential data breaches if you’re not careful. Besides the common precautions that most business travellers are familiar with, such as avoiding public Wi-Fi networks, refraining from sending unencrypted files over the internet and remembering to log out of accounts when using hotel business centres, there are other aspects of information security that even the most seasoned and experienced business travellers can overlook.
One common example is physical documents. Employees frequently bring along physical copies of confidential documents containing sensitive information on their trips and they might have the tendency to leave these documents lying around in their hotel room or conference rooms after a meeting. This gives unauthorised persons, such as cleaning crews and other employees of the venue, an easy access into the information that is meant to be kept private. Employees should make it a habit to always store their private documents securely by keeping them locked in safe boxes that are only accessible by them. Having a clean desk policy during business trips should also be practiced by every employee to reduce the risk of having any confidential information stolen or leaked while they are away.
Another practice that business travellers should be cautious about is printing confidential documents in business centres or meeting venues. Multi-functional printers (MFPs) are often used in business centres and they serve as a convenient tool for everyone. However, it is easy to forget to pick up printed documents from the printer tray or to throw away documents once they are no longer needed. Also most MFPs nowadays have hard drives with copious amounts of storage capacity. This makes the MFPs a target of malicious individuals such as hackers and other criminals. They can easily access the MFP’s hard disk and get all the valuable information they need for illegal activities. Business centres and meeting venues should engage a document destruction expert for secure disposal methods of confidential information through secure shredding. On top of implementing comprehensive security protocols and secure information destruction methods, business centres and meeting venues could also put up helpful security reminder posters to remind everyone about information security.
There are many ways in which information can be leaked during business trips, including careless misplacement of devices containing sensitive information such as leaving handphones or laptops in a taxi or leaving data on the whiteboards of conference rooms. Business travellers should always be mindful when dealing with confidential documents, especially through the frequently overlooked physical medium which boasts an equally huge threat as digital to the data security of an organisation. Many data breaches are the result of carelessness or complacency. Being in an unfamiliar location, like when you are on a business trip, makes it easier to make mistakes so it is important to be extra careful.
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