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Glitch Takes Airport Gates Offline; Here’s How To Travel Safely

Another day, another system down! In early May, Border Force was the victim of an error that brought down the entire IT system and led to a country-wide outage. The organization took immediate action and brought the entire network offline to isolate the issue and prevent further damage from occurring. Unfortunately, this process heavily impacted the airports’ operations and day-to-day functions, such as electronic gates which automatically scan passports and face ID, as well as some Border Force systems used by the agents on the ground. Some estimates expect this glitch to have delayed the passengers for over 6 hours.

While most customers were aware of the inconveniences of the outage, many weren’t aware of the dangers associated with cyber-attacks which can cause them. When a network is compromised, unless you have high-grade tools to protect you, every device you connect to is put at risk. When you’re traveling, it’s important to treat everything like a risk to ensure your safety. In today’s article, we’re sharing a couple of tips to keep you safe when you’re on the road for work or even on vacation this summer.

  1. Don’t connect to the public Wi-Fi in the hotel. Truthfully, this also applies to coffee shops, airport lounges, etc. If a network is compromised and you connect to it, you could be giving hackers access to your devices.
  2. Turn off the auto-connect feature. Even if you don’t actively connect to the hotel’s Wi-Fi, if a hacker has set up a fake Wi-Fi network and your device auto-connects to it, that could be a big problem. Shut the feature off and only manually connect to sources you trust.
  3. Use your phone’s hotspot. Instead of connecting to public Wi-Fi, most cell phones come equipped with a hotspot that allows your other devices to connect to your phone’s internet. If not, one call to your wireless provider can often add this feature.

These tips will help protect you, but if you travel for work or have employees who travel for work, it’s important that all work devices have professional-grade cybersecurity tools installed on them. You don’t want to send your sales team to a hotel-hosted trade show, and instead of bringing back a list of leads, they bring back malware that could shut down your company altogether.

There is one final lesson in this terrible incident that all British business owners need to understand: No matter the size of the company, you can still be the victim of a cyber-attack. The Ministry of Defence would likely have a large budget to defend itself from cyber-attacks and yet still fall victim to hackers recently. No system is 100% impenetrable, but small business owners who don’t have any security measures in place are putting a big red target on their backs.

If you don’t have a cybersecurity system in place, or if you do and someone else is managing it but you’d like a second opinion, we offer a FREE Security Risk Assessment. This assessment will go over every area of your network to identify if and where you are vulnerable to an attack and propose solutions to fix it.

To get started, click here to book your FREE Network Assessment now or call our office at 020 3818 3411.


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