Best Practices to Keep Relocating Employees and Data Safe

imagesDave Foess, VP of Business Development for Relocation America, was in attendance for the first Detroit SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) education forum of 2014.

The event titled “Expanding into New Countries: Employee & Asset Protection” was led by Lisa Silverman, Managing Director of Kroll, the world’s leading risk consulting company.  Headquartered in New York with offices in more than 17 countries, Kroll provides a broad range of investigative, financial and security services to help corporate clients reduce both mobile employee and technology risk.

The event’s discussion centered on the security of mobile employees and intellectual property and how to best protect both from harm and theft.  Some of the questions the event sought to answer were: Is your corporation engaging in best practices to keep employees and assets, both tangible and intangible, safe?  Is the data on the laptop your executive is traveling with secure?

Throughout the forum it was shown that corporations with a mobile workforce must proactively develop appropriate travel procedures and emergency response plans to alleviate security concerns and to make sure their employees and data are safe when traveling to higher risk countries.  Companies need to assess the travel vulnerabilities and risks employees face during their travels and test their procedures regularly to ensure they are up to date.

Employee Security Plans should include but are not limited to: 

  • Proactively developing steps for traveling in higher risk countries.  This includes determination of whether physical security is needed for your traveling employees.
  • Communication and notification tools
  • Emergency Hotlines for Employees to call in the event they become a victim of crime
  • Emergency evacuation procedures

Intellectual Property Security do’s and don’ts include but are not limited to:

  • Don’t carry your laptop in what is obviously a laptop bag; don’t be a target
  • Don’t use a public computer to send or receive confidential information
  • Do use secure links whenever possible
  • Do get a polarized filter for your screen to prevent others from looking over your shoulder to view confidential information.

A global economy presents exciting opportunities for multinational companies to introduce their products and services to new markets or to expand in existing ones.  It also exposes the company and its staffers to security and other risks that result from sending employees and their families to work in unfamiliar surroundings.

Though most expats have a safe experience living and traveling abroad, crises can happen anywhere at any time, and handling an emergency overseas can be more challenging than dealing with one at home.  It is important to be prepared and have a plan in place and to know the countries your employees are traveling to and the associated risks.

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