About 58% of businesses report being concerned over cyber attacks already, and a lot of businesses are even realizing that pc and laptop maintenance and IT security are so serious that it’s best to get managed IT services or otherwise do IT outsourcing to oversee it all. In fact, 38% of companies of all sizes cite security as one of the main reasons for using a managed service at all. The managed security market is set to double by 2020 as companies try to avoid any downtime by outsourcing server monitoring and maintenance, pc and laptop maintenance, and enhanced IT security.
With security this much of a concern for any company, it’s also essential that everyone traveling for work think about the security of their electronics on the road. The freedom to do work on the plane or in a hotel room comes with a price: vigilance. The very mobility of our technology not only makes doing business easy, but also makes it easier to experience an IT nightmare. When traveling, our routines are disrupted, we’re often using unaccustomed wifi networks, and there may be competitors or bad actors actively engaging in corporate espionage: or just plain mischief. This is even more of an issue when traveling abroad. Here are five important things you should be doing to keep your work data and computer safe.
- Begin Well to End Well Before you ever leave, make sure you’ve had pc and laptop maintenance done on your machine. Ensure you’re running the latest anti-virus and anti-malware and that you’ve updated all software. If you’re going to a country where corporate espionage is rife, or to a place where you’ll have no way to connect except through someone else’s network, wipe the computer of everything except what you’ll absolutely need to work.
- Protect Against Accidents Your main worry might be thieves, viruses, malware, and data theft: but don’t forget the myriad of opportunities that you’ll have to simply drop and break the thing! You’re out of your routine and your comfort zone, so it becomes a bit easier to make a mistake. Invest in a good case and nice bag.
- Protect Against Physical Thieves Never leave your laptop unattended at a coffee shop or even in a hotel. Keep all your devices near you when traveling on trains and planes. On buses, never allow electronics to get put in a storage compartment. And consider investing in a laptop lock. A computer lock is not foolproof, but it will stop the casual or opportunistic thief. Just be sure to lock the computer to something that is actually solid.
- Protect Your Data In a lot of cases, it’s the data and information technology that thieves really want and that is most valuable: not the computer itself. You can replace the computer, but not the files unless you’ve backed them all up. Make sure everything important is backed up carefully before you leave, and don’t take the backup with you. Also make sure you’ve got a virtual private network, or VPN, that you can use to tunnel all your internet traffic while you’re away from home and office; and don’t forget a firewall as well. The VPN and firewall will add a layer of protection to any data you’re sending and receiving online. Finally, consider investing in a faraday cage cover for your device. When folded over, these cases won’t allow any signals in or out of your device. Keep your device in the case in airports and the whole time you’re traveling.
- Think Before You Re-Connect If you’ve been away on business, don’t come straight back to the office and connect up. You don’t know what might be on the computer and what you’re about to connect to the whole office intranet. Get IT security to do pc and laptop maintenance on your computer and make sure that everything is clean and safe before you connect back in.
If your computer is essential to make business happen, take it along. But make sure you’re protected from whatever might happen.