It is becoming increasingly more common for business data to be carried around on laptops and portable hard drives. As travel corridors expand and remote work becomes the new normal, your valuable data assets face an ever-growing threat from loss or theft while being transported.
Travelling with your laptop introduces a number of data security risks that could result in business information being released to the wider public or cyber criminal networks. With that risk comes the possibility of data protection breaches and all of the costly consequences that come with it.
In this blog, we’ll be looking at travelling with your business laptop and how you can take steps to keep your data safe while on the move.
Travelling with Your Laptop: Where Are the Risks?
There are three primary risks seen when transporting a laptop around containing valuable business data:
- Accidental loss
Many individuals are under the impression this would not happen to them. However, as historic events show — from MI5 agents losing laptops to police laptops stolen out of vehicles — even those in high offices responsible for incredibly sensitive data can fall prey to the issues of travelling with a laptop.
What Does This Mean for Your Business?
Data theft or loss can lead to serious data breaches, which means travelling with a laptop could lead to a disastrous chain of events. Data breaches destroy businesses.
For some, this is not a risk worth taking, and if the laptop can stay behind, it should. However, sometimes you absolutely must have your device with you. Travelling with a laptop for work can be the only way work gets done.
On the other hand, damage to your device may not cause the same sort of ramifications, but it can mean important files are gone, just as if the laptop was lost. These files could be vital to your ongoing business procedures, and their destruction is likely to be a devastating loss.
This leads us to an important question — How do we protect data while travelling with a laptop for work?
Utilise the Cloud
The best way to ensure your data is not vulnerable if your company laptops are lost, damaged or stolen is to ensure you keep that data stored on cloud servers rather than locally on the device. This could be through using a solution such as Microsoft Office 365, or it could be hosting your data at a secure UK data centre and accessing it via a VPN or similar. The benefit here is that your data cannot be accessed without login controls and access details, so even if your laptop was taken or lost, whoever may have access to it does not have access to your data.
Encrypt Your Data
If there is no way to avoid putting sensitive data onto the device, then you should ensure that it is encrypted so that if the device is stolen, it cannot be accessed. Of course, this does not protect against damage, which could make your data unrecoverable, but it does prevent those disastrous data breaches.
Get Help Managing Your Risks!
If you want to find out more about managing the risks to your data when you and your staff travel with your laptops, then our cyber security team can help! Get in touch with our expert IT consultants today to learn about what we can do to safeguard your business.