You work hard to grow your business, and you deserve every bit of your vacation time. However, cyber attacks continue to rise, because cybercriminals are always at work, even while you’re off the clock. According to Gartner, spending on information security and risk management technology and services is expected to rise to $150.4 billion in 2021. In order to maintain a strong cybersecurity posture at all times, you need to be engaged in the best data protection practices, even when you’re out of the office. Let’s explore how you can protect your business and boost your security while you’re on vacation.
Tips to Secure Your Business While on Vacation
Some of the best ways to ensure your company is secure while OOO are:
Tip #1: Inform Your IT Department
While your team will know that you are going on vacation, you should also inform your IT department. They will help you protect data and your workstation before you leave. Also, if a team member needs to access any data in your care while you’re on vacation, your IT department can set up temporary login credentials for them.
Tip #2: Secure Your Workstation
Always secure your workstation before leaving the office. Never write usernames and passwords on sticky notes or in notebooks that can be left unattended at your desk. Log out of all devices, websites, and apps, and unplug any devices at your workstation. Even if someone gains unauthorized access to your devices while you’re away, all company data will be safer if you're logged out of everything.
If you work remotely in any capacity, follow the same steps to secure your devices and work environment at home. Let a trusted friend or family member know to keep an eye on your property while you’re away.
Tip #3: Create a Safer Out-of-Office Email
You never want to leave anyone hanging if they send you an email while you’re on vacation. You may already be in the habit of setting up an out-of-office (OOO) email. However, this OOO email should be brief and not volunteer personal info, such as where you are vacationing, what you’ll be doing while on vacation, how long you will be away, or any other personal details.
Cybercriminals may try to impersonate you and request confidential and proprietary data from your unwitting team members. Your OOO email should only indicate that you are out of the office and will respond as soon as you return. Finally, avoid sending automated responses to unknown email senders and lists.
Tip #4: Download Media in Advance
If there are music, books, or movies that you would like to enjoy on your vacation, download them on your home’s secure WiFi network before you leave. Complete any essential online tasks before your vacation, so you can reduce the temptation to log onto your accounts while traveling.
Tip #5: Avoid Unsecured Public Wi-Fi
Although you are on vacation, still maintain a risk-aware cybersecurity posture. Only use secure WiFi that requires a passcode. Yes, even if you’re not accessing business networks and resources, always use secure Wi-Fi to avoid viruses and other malware vulnerabilities.
Tip #6: Use a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection is handy for safely accessing your favorite sites and programs when traveling gives you limited control over your online privacy while on a public internet connection.
More importantly, a VPN is a secure way to log in and navigate your sensitive personal and business accounts while vacationing. Not only does a VPN help you mask your internet protocol (IP) address, but it also establishes secure and encrypted connections to ensure your device and privacy are protected while using Wi-Fi.
Tip #7: Adopt Multi-Factor Authentication
Data protection should be one of your top priorities whether you’re on vacation or not. We also recommend that you set up multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all your accounts.
Passwords and passcodes are easy to hack. However, MFA requires that you provide two or more verification factors to log into your network and accounts. For example, with MFA, you may offer the usual username and password, but you will also have to provide a verification PIN sent to an app on your mobile phone and offer a fingerprint or facial scan. MFA boosts your company’s security and protects data and credentials.
Tip #8: Secure Your Devices
While you will let down your hair on vacation, don’t let down your guard. Never leave your devices lying around in your hotel room. Even if you are stepping out for a brief moment, always secure your devices in your hotel room’s safe. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Tip #9: Limit Your Social Media Posts
Social media encourages us to post about anything and everything. However, resist the urge to share real-time updates as cybercriminals also watch social media platforms. It’s better to make all your posts after you return from your vacation. You can keep your loved ones updated on your whereabouts via direct text messaging, voice notes, and FaceTime.
Enjoy Peace of Mind for Your R&R
We have shared our top tips to help you maintain a robust cybersecurity posture and protect data and credentials while you’re on vacation. Enjoy your time away from the office as you make lots of great memories. Collect interesting souvenirs, immerse yourself in new adventures, and record some of the action as a keepsake! Contact Net Friends if you're interested in adopting any of these security practices, such as provisioning a VPN for everyone in your company or implementing MFA. We're wishing you a relaxing, well-deserved vacation!