Hazards of working on holidays – leave the laptop behind
The new EU data regulation is coming this year, so data security is more important than ever especially as fines could reach up to 2% of global annual turnover. This new law where both companies and employees will be legally obliged to report any data breaches, even if no-one suffered any loss, raises the question, should we be working on holiday?
Holidays are meant to be a time to unwind, but for many Brits, technology means we can continue our work while unwinding by the pool. Tablets, smartphones and laptops mean as long as there is a wi-fi signal, we can draft documents, send and receive email and have VOIP calls – all with lots of private information and data that if in the wrong hands, could be detrimental for a company.
Mark Weston, partner at law firm Matthew Arnold & Baldwin LLP, said:
“Britons probably work the longest hours of any nation in Europe and although we may think we may be doing good by putting in a few work hours by the pool, it is important to know the hazards that you might be exposing your company to. Maybe this summer you should leave your work at the office and enjoy your week in the sun, you will be back behind the desk before you know it.”
Security concerns should be heightened while abroad with lots of UK confidential information being accessible on a daily basis particularly during these summer months. Countries with intrusive government surveillance such as the Middle East, or countries where there are high numbers of criminal gangs like parts of Europe, the Far East and Russia, mean devices and data can be hacked.
Intercepting a wi-fi signal is easy, even in many countries in Europe, information over hotel/airport/train station wi-fi is easily “peeked at”.
With lots of luggage, tourists can leave devices in all sorts of places resulting in lost or stolen items. Information and data on these devices can be priceless.
There are protective measures which can be taken, such as ensuring information and devices are encrypted, but how many companies take the steps?