Travellers have been warned by an aerospace industry expert not to work on company-sensitive projects on laptop computers while making journeys.
Speaking at the Computer Security, Audit and Control conference in London this week, Julien Holstein, information security director at aeroplane manufacturer Aerobus, said his firm has introduced a company-wide policy forbidding staff to work on projects using their laptops when making aeroplane journeys.
The rule, which could equally apply to train travel, had been introduced to maintain the integrity of the company's data after one of its managers reported that he had covertly read sensitive project information off the laptop screen of the person in the next seat.
It is just one of several practical measures introduced by Aerobus following a company-wide business security review, Holstein told delegates.
"It's not one cataclysmic event that hits company profitability; it's thousands of little things that set off chain reactions which reduce margins and long-term company viability," he said.
Other tips for travellers include only staying in hotels that have safes in guest rooms big enough to store laptops; carrying print-based information in hand luggage rather than in suitcases; and installing password protection systems on laptops to protect data in the event of the computer being stolen.
Holstein also said travellers should take note of a recent innovation in the restaurant trade. Some venues have apparently installed cameras and microphones with the intention of monitoring the status of their patrons' meals and capturing feedback on the quality of food and service.
Holstein warned delegates that this has the side effect of recording any business information discussed over lunch, which could then be passed on to newspapers or competitors.
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