How To Stay Secure When Working Abroad
With the advances in digital technology, working abroad is now an option that is taken up by thousands of people. Yes, business people have been travelling out of the country to take interviews and cut deals for many years – but through the power of the internet and cloud computing, it is now possible to fly to the other side of the world and carry on your job as normal.
But whether you are looking for a digital nomad lifestyle or you’re just on a one-off trip, working abroad means tightening your cybersecurity. Cybercrime is a growing problem everywhere – but working abroad can lead us to put our guards down, especially as we are in an unfamiliar environment.
It is vitally important to take all the possible precautionary steps to minimise the risk of being the victim of cybercrime. So, in this article, we take a look at some of the things that you can do to stay secure when you’re working abroad.
Backup Before You Travel
It is the little things that we do that can make the biggest difference. We have had it drummed into us by IT departments and experts that creating backups and ensuring that they are up-to-date is one of the most important things that we can do. And yet, for so many, backups are not considered a priority.
If you are going to be working abroad, you will undoubtedly face unfamiliar systems or different ways of working. This kind of confusion is exactly the kind of scenario that can lead to you making a mistake and losing data.
Of course, that kind of error isn’t a problem – as long as you have those backups. It is advisable to use multiple backups including cloud computing as well as physical storage such as USB drives.
Instal Anti-Virus Protection
Once again, here is an example of something simple and obvious that many people still fail to do. It has been claimed that 88% of people use antivirus software on their laptop or desktop computer. That sounds like positive news – but that number drops significantly when it comes to devices like smartphones and tablets.
Think about the devices that you are going to use to access sensitive information and do work while you are abroad. Every single one of those devices needs to be protected up to the same standard, otherwise you are simply leaving the backdoor open for cybercriminals.
Be Wary of Public Wi-Fi
It can be easy to bury your head in the sand when it comes to an issue like public Wi-Fi. After all, almost anyone working abroad is going to need some sort of internet connection to get on with their work – and with that public Wi-Fi available and looking so tempting, who could blame you for logging on?
“That Wi-Fi network may look legitimate, but is it?” asks Ciara O’Brien of the Irish Times “scammers may set up networks that look similar to a genuine network, grabbing your private data when you connect to the wrong network.”
Always ensure that you trust the Wi-Fi that you are using. And it can be a great idea to utilise a virtual private network (VPN) which can help to keep you safe.
Work With Cybersecurity Specialists
Cybercriminals are highly active and becoming more sophisticated by the day. In some cases, you can do everything right, and they will still find ways to evade the defences you put in place. That is why it can be crucial to work with cybersecurity specialists who understand how to mitigate risk and keep you protected.
Cybersecurity specialists are able to do a lot more than just manage the aftermath of a cyberattack. They will take preventative steps to minimise the risk of attacks against you, and your business as a whole. Proactive tasks that you probably don’t have the expertise for, such as dark web monitoring or even cyber threat hunting – can be carried out while you get on with your day-to-day work. These find and eliminate threats before attacks can take place.
Ensure Your Passwords Are Strong
Even the most powerful cybersecurity in the world won’t protect you if you aren’t doing the simple things right. It is unfortunately the case that many people still don’t use passwords that are strong enough. Worse is the fact that some people believe that their passwords are strong, when in fact they are relatively weak.
In the modern world, a strong password should be at least eight characters long, and those characters should be a mix of upper- and lower-case letters, with numbers and symbols. Your password should also avoid containing any words that can be found in a dictionary.
Only Access The Data You Need
It is also advisable to limit the data that you access abroad. An even better idea is to ensure before you leave that you will only have access to certain data. Limiting access to data can be a very effective method of limiting the potential damage from a cyberattack once it has taken place.
If you are only able to have access to a certain level of data – attacks who gain control of your computer will only have that same level of access.