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  • Writer's pictureTommy Wald

IT for International Travel

Best practices to ensure IT safety & reliability.

 

Summertime Is a popular time for vacations and taking trips out of the country.  And while most of us want to ‘unplug’ from work when traveling, the reality is that we feel better when staying connected and keeping an eye on things.  Call it a partial unplug where you check in every day and then take off for site seeing, excursions or just lay at the beach or pool.  I’m guilty of this….

In today’s interconnected world, working remote has become increasingly prevalent, requiring business owners, executives and managers to operate efficiently regardless of geographical boundaries. However, when you need to work remotely in a different country, various challenges arise, especially in areas like cybersecurity, remote connection, and accessing sensitive data. In this blog, I’ll discuss best practices that help navigate these challenges effectively.

 

Establishing Secure Remote Connections

First and foremost, ensuring secure remote connections is paramount. Utilize virtual private networks (VPNs) to encrypt data transmitted between your device and the internet, safeguarding sensitive information from potential threats. Encourage employees to use company-provided VPNs when accessing company resources remotely.  I use NordVPN when I travel and found it provides quick, reliable and secure encrypted access to all my apps and data.

 

Cybersecurity Measures

Implement robust cybersecurity measures to mitigate the risk of cyber threats. This includes regularly updating software and applications to patch known vulnerabilities, employing multi-factor authentication (MFA) to add an extra layer of security, and conducting regular security awareness training sessions to educate employees about potential risks and best practices.  All of these measures should already be installed and running on your laptop, as these are common cybersecurity measures.  If not, be sure to consult with your IT person, or call RIATA.

 

Internet Access and Infrastructure

When planning a trip to a different country, research your internet availability and options.  Fortunately, most hotels, resorts, AirBnB’s and other travel friendly places provide free WiFi as a standard feature.  However, not all WiFi is created equal; meaning the speed and reliability may vary significantly from country-to-country, place-to-place.  For that reason, you may plan to bring along a mobile hotspot as a backup to ensure uninterrupted connectivity in case of outages.

 

Another key aspect about WiFi in these travel spots is that there is little cybersecurity protection thereby representing a threat to the security of your laptop’s data and apps.  Make absolutely sure that you have a good VPN as mentioned above.

 

Video Conferencing Tools

Selecting the right video conferencing tools is essential for seamless communication and collaboration. Choose platforms that offer end-to-end encryption and robust security features to protect sensitive discussions and data shared during meetings. Additionally, familiarize employees with best practices for secure video conferencing, such as using waiting rooms to vet participants before admitting them to meetings.  Microsoft Teams, Zoom and several other popular video conferencing platforms provide this important security feature.


Working with Financial Systems

When working remotely across borders, access to financial systems and sensitive financial data requires careful consideration. Implement role-based access controls to restrict access to financial systems based on employees’ job roles and responsibilities. Utilize cloud-based accounting software with built-in security features and encryption to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of financial data. 

 

Accessing Confidential Data and Files

Safeguarding confidential data and files is crucial, especially when working remotely in different countries. Utilize secure cloud storage solutions with strong encryption protocols to store and share sensitive documents, such as Egnyte. Implement access controls and permissions to limit access to confidential information only to authorized personnel. Use strong, unique passwords for accessing company systems and regularly update them to minimize the risk of unauthorized access.

 

Mobile Device Management

A most effective solution for maintaining control of your company’s laptops, devices and data is mobile device management, or MDM.  This solution controls how company apps and data are accessed and keeps tabs on these laptops and devices.

 

An MDM solution can prevent confidential files from being downloaded.  If the laptop is lost or stolen, the MDM will remotely delete the corporate data from the laptop.  There are many other features included in an MDM that help maintain the integrity and security of these remote laptops and devices.

 

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Traveling out of the country soon?  RIATA can help make sure your laptop and devices keep you connected reliably and securely.  Contact RIATA today and we’ll be glad to provide a quick and easy checkup to ensure you are safe to travel.

 

About the Author:  Tommy Wald is CEO of RIATA Technologies, a Managed IT Services Provider headquartered in Austin, TX.  He can be reached at TWald@RiataTechnologies.com or (737) 249-9697.



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