Security: Lose more than your mobile device while traveling

Security of automation and control systems could be at risk during the travel season, if smart phones, laptops, netbooks, and USB sticks aren't adequately protected. Could your staff be leaving more than their troubles behind at the security gates when jetting off this festive season? See 8 security tips below.

12/29/2010


Security of automation and control systems could be at risk during the travel season, if smart phones, laptops, netbooks, and even USB sticks aren't adequately protected. ‘Tis the season to be jolly – and to leave sensitive corporate information behind at the airport! According to telephone interviews with the lost property offices of 15 UK airports, including Heathrow and Luton, over 5,100 mobile phones and 3,844 laptops have been left behind so far this year; with the majority still unclaimed and many more expected to be left over the Christmas holiday peak season. This figure is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg as ABTA expect over 4 million people to be travelling over this period, and the overall figures do not take into account all those devices that were stolen, or kept by the "lucky" finder.

The survey, carried out by Credant Technologies, also found that in the majority of cases, those devices that aren’t reclaimed are then either sold at auction or donated to charities. Lost devices may contain information that could be available for the new owner. With ID theft from mobile phones and other lost devices at an all time high, users should really take special care this holiday season when travelling.

According to a representative at Luton Airport, the most common place devices are forgotten is at the security check point as it’s a very pressured environment with numerous distractions. Often, once the travelers have boarded the plane and left the country it’s just too expensive to return for the device, which in most instances will be covered by insurance, resulting in the majority going unclaimed.

But the device’s value is the last thing organizations should be worrying about, explains Seán Glynn, VP at Credant Technologies, “What is much more concerning are the copious volumes of sensitive data these devices contain – often unsecured and easily accessed. Without protecting mobile phones, laptops and even USBs with something even as basic as a password, a malicious third party can have easy access to the corporate network, email accounts and all the files stored on the device including the contact lists. Users also store such things as passwords, bank details and other personal information on the device making it child’s play to impersonate the user and steal their identity – both personal and corporate.” 

8 top tips to secure travel

  1. As you leave - whether it’s the check-in desk, security check point, or even the train station, make sure you take everything with you, including your mobile devices. A few seconds to check could potentially save you hours of frustration and embarrassment.
  2. Protect your mobile device: with at least a password (and ensure that it is a strong one, containing letters, numbers and symbols).  Better still, use an encryption solution so that even if your device is left behind, the data on it is not accessible to anyone who finds it.
  3. Don’t elect to automatically complete online credentials, such as corporate network log in details, so that if you and your device should become separated, it cannot operate without you.
  4. Back-up your device and remove any sensitive information that you do not need. If it’s not there it can’t be breached.
  5. As in tip 4, remove SMS and emails that you don’t need anymore - you’d be sur­prised how many people keep their default password emails on their mobiles and other hugely sensitive information like PINs, bank account details or pass­words!
  6. Don't leave your mobile device open to access (e.g. leaving Bluetooth or WiFi turned on) somewhere visible and unsecured.
  7. Include your name and contact details in the device so that, if it should be lost, it can easily be returned to you. Some operators have a registration service to facilitate this.
  8. Finally, speak to your IT department before you leave the office this year – that’s what they’re there for. They’ll help make sure your device is better protected should it find itself languishing all alone at the airport.

This survey was conducted by Credant Technologies amongst 15 UK airports, by phoning the lost property offices and finding out how many laptops and mobile phones are left on average every week. 

- Edited by Amanda McLeman, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Bring focus to PLC programming: 5 things to avoid in putting your system together; Managing the DCS upgrade; PLM upgrade: a step-by-step approach
Balancing the bagging triangle; PID tuning improves process efficiency; Standardizing control room HMIs
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.