Stay away from Wifi

If you have to have Internet access, Morehouse said that executives should avoid using public Wifi connections at all costs. Hotel and public wifi networks are notoriously dodgy and can expose traveling business executives to man-in-the middle and redirection attacks. At the same time, travelers are drawn to them for fear of racking up expensive data fees on foreign 3G networks. Business conferences and other gatherings are a great resource for those looking to steal confidential information and monitor communications, so beware.

Switch your SIM

Rather than carrying your SIM (and the data it contains), consider buying a temporary SIM once you arrive at your destination. Many airports have kiosks that sell prepaid SIM cards that are inexpensive and come with prepaid data and minutes. They’re perfect for traveling executives, won’t give an attacker any worthwhile data if they’re stolen or confiscated, and can be disposed of when you leave.

Leave your phone at home

Executives who travel abroad should, whenever possible, leave their mobile device at home. “If you don’t have to take the device, don’t take it,” Morehouse said. Prepaid phones are a cheap alternative that can be used just for travel, phones that don’t store any sensitive data are preferable.

(Image via raitank‘s Flickr photostream)

Talk to IT

Well in advance of your departure date, have a sit-down with IT to talk about your trip and about how to avoid exposing sensitive corporate assets and information to compromise. Your IT group will probably be able to help you find work arounds, secure a line back to the company network and even provision you with a “clean” device (mobile phone, laptop, etc.) for your trip.

Researcher Justin Morehouse has logged more than 100,000 miles to eight countries in the last year. His message: business travelers are at greater risk of being hacked than ever before, especially when it comes to smart phones and tablets. Now the security expert has distilled his research and first-hand experiences into some sage advice for travelling executives and VIPs. Here are eight ways you can protect yourself abroad.

The Genetic Log-in

DNA has been in use as a biometric identifier for some time. But as the O.J. trial proved, DNA analysis takes time, costs a lot of money and requires a lab to process – often creating the opening for challenges as to the accuracy of the test results.  That’s the reason that, despite its utility, DNA testing has generally been reserved for use by law enforcement and in civil paternity disputes.

The insides of our ears are a mysterious place for most of us. It turns out, however, that there’s more going on in there than we expected. In a study presented at the IEEE Fourth International Conference on Biometrics in September of 2010, researchers used a shape-finding algorithm to determine – with 99.6 percent success rate – someone’s identity by studying the shape of their outer ear.

Japan’s Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology (.PDF) has developed a system that they believe is capable of authenticating a person’s identity by performing a series of measurement on that person’s posterior. The system relies on a seat equipped with 400 pressure sensitive sensors that can detect the contours of an individual’s derriere.

The Nose Knows

Researchers at Bath University have unveiled a system where noses, not fingerprints or irises, could be scanned and used for biometric authentication. Using a system called PhotoFace, first developed at the University of the West of England Bristol and Imperial College London, individuals had photos of their noses taken four times, each in different lighting, to determine which category their nose fall under. The software found six main nose types: Roman, Greek, Nubian, Hawk, Snub and Turn-up.

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