Business data is an extremely important asset – therefore, privacy is paramount. As a valuable resource, companies ought to handle data with the utmost care.
The 2017 laptop and tablet ban on flights entering the US and UK from certain Middle Eastern and North African countries caused corporations to reconsider how they managed data security across company devices. When it became apparent that business travelers might need to store information across multiple devices whilst on the move, companies moved to create the infrastructure to counter data breach.
With more legislation like the laptop ban likely to come into force, businesses need to take a more vigilant and proactive approach to data protection. Companies can achieve this through a number of strategies, including loaned devices, secure network access, or cloud storage. What follows here is some descriptions of how corporations are protecting business data across devices and the associated challenges.
Corporate approaches to protecting business data
Companies have implemented various different solutions in response to the growing concern about business data privacy. According to research shared by the executive director of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, companies have used strategies such as requiring employees to travel with a wiped, loaned laptop. Management then instructed employees to connect to the company’s network via a secure VPN to access business data. Although this approach improves data security, slow access to data can impede smooth business operations.
An alternative approach is to use an iPad or other tablet connected to a cellular network. Cellular networks are comparatively difficult to hack compared to public WiFi networks, which makes them inherently more secure. Another approach would be to focus on securing data as opposed to devices. For example, a practical alternative would set up a secure cloud storage system for sensitive data.
Furthermore, companies should develop a procedure for dealing with device inspection requests from airport security. This protocol can include simple, common-sense directives to employees. For instance, there should be a strict policy to make sure staff never share their passwords. To illustrate, employees should always make sure that when a member of airport security requests to access a device, the staff member types the password themselves.
The data security imperative
Irrespective of company policy, business travelers should only carry the necessary devices to keep business data secure. When met with the challenges created by legislation such as the laptop ban, corporations need to implement strategies to defend business data. As a result, it will be necessary to reach compromise between security and productivity – enabling business travelers to maintain both performance and vigilance.