Do you understand the importance of data security for your employees working remotely, and those who frequently use mobile devices for their work? Cardwave Founder and CEO, Paul Norbury, spoke about the risks associated with mobile working in the July/August 2018 issue of Computing Security Magazine.

9-5, Monday to Friday, working at a desk in the office, is fast becoming the exception rather than the norm for many. Technology now affords us the freedom and flexibility of working wherever and whenever we want.

Offering remote and mobile working options can be hugely beneficial, BUT allowing your workforce to operate away from the confides of the office isn’t without risk. The biggest being DATA SECURITY.

Laptops, tablets, phones, portable storage devices all store valuable information, information that shouldn’t be seen by others; and definitely not by your competitors or thieves.

Most employees will be fearful of the financial implications and embarrassment of physically losing a device, but will they have considered the value of the data stored on the lost device?

Accessing sensitive data via the Cloud is one way to minimise the risk of unauthorised access to confidential files, but doing so is reliant upon having a secure and reliable connection. This is not always achievable when working remotely and could potentially be a higher risk.

What about the humble USB flash drive? USBs have been around for years, almost two decades in fact, and they are still the data storage device of choice for many mobile workers. Readily available, cheap, simple to use, convenient to transport but also easy to misplace or lose.

It is estimated that every year in excess of 20 million unencrypted USBs are lost or stolen, putting valuable data at risk. The idea that almost 40 flash drives disappear every second of every day is pretty alarming, so how does a company reduce or eliminate this particular risk? Ban all USBs? Pretty drastic, but that’s exactly what IBM and others have done.

Such a radical strategy is not only hard to implement and enforce, it is also bad for productivity, and is completely unnecessary.

All USBs are the same, right? Wrong!

Different casings, colours, capacities, processing speeds… are all important considerations but the biggest differentiator, the ONLY thing that can save you from a data breach, is ENCRYPTION!

Encryption is a complex thing but in a nutshell it’s the process of changing or transforming files according to a set of rules and algorithms into a format that others cannot read. Encryption of any description is good, but AES 256-bit encryption (or greater) is recommended, and hardware encryption is superior to software options, which might be cheaper but are prone to being hacked.

By investing in robust AES 256-bit XTS hardware encrypted USB3.1 flash drives such as SafeToGo® Solo for your workforce, you can give your staff the freedom and flexibility to work effectively from any location (regardless of connectivity), without having to worry about a potential data breach. If your data is important, then keep it safe.

You can read the full article in Computer Security Magazine here.