Secure data for global mobility

How to Secure Your Data for International Assignments with

April 26, 2024 |

Cyber threats are on the rise, with a staggering 71% increase in cyber attacks leveraging stolen identities in 2023 compared to 2022. In this digital age, robust data security strategies have become paramount for individuals and businesses, especially those undertaking international assignments or dealing with sensitive data across borders. Comprehensive data security measures protect against cybercriminal activities, insider threats, and human error, safeguarding crucial information throughout its lifecycle.

For organizations with employees on international assignments, travellers or expatriate assignments, centralized data management, secure document management, and advanced data analytics and reporting capabilities are essential. Furthermore, proactive risk assessment and mitigation strategies are crucial to ensuring data security posture management (DSPM) and addressing the challenges of securing complex, distributed, hybrid or multi-cloud computing environments.

Data Security Measures

To ensure robust data security while undertaking international assignments, it is crucial to implement a comprehensive set of measures. These include:

Encryption and Access Controls

• Employ encryption techniques to protect data from unauthorized access, use, modification, or disclosure.

• Implement authentication and authorization protocols to control access to sensitive data.

• Utilize firewalls to monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic.

Backup and Recovery

• Establish regular backup procedures to safeguard data against loss, system crashes, or breaches.

• Develop and test data recovery plans to ensure business continuity in case of security incidents.

Employee Training and Awareness

• Educate and train staff on the importance of data security, potential risks, and best practices.

• Provide employees with the necessary skills and tools to handle data securely across different international contexts.

Continuous Monitoring and Auditing

• Continuously monitor and measure the performance and effectiveness of data security measures.

• Conduct regular security audits to identify vulnerabilities and ensure compliance with evolving security protocols.

Secure Document Management

• Implement a secure document management system with advanced security features like document encryption, granular permissions control, and encrypted storage.

Monitor access permissions, version control, and regulate mobile device access to sensitive documents.

• Convert paper documents to digital format for better control and visibility over access.

Risk Assessment and Mitigation

• Perform data discovery to identify sensitive data and assess its sensitivity level.

• Establish comprehensive cybersecurity policies, incident response plans, and risk management strategies.

• Limit access to critical assets through physical, identity, and privileged access controls.

By implementing these data security measures, organizations can effectively protect their sensitive information while ensuring compliance and mitigating risks associated with international assignments.

Centralized Data Management

Centralized data management is a crucial aspect of securing data and thriving in international assignments. It involves defining and implementing clear roles, responsibilities, policies, standards, and procedures for managing and using data across the organization. This approach aligns the data strategy with business goals, ensures data quality and integrity, and fosters a data-driven culture.

For organizations with employees on international assignments, centralizing global mobility administration can streamline operations. However, improving the use of analytics and metrics can also transform how mobility teams work and contribute to the wider organization. Unfortunately, only 21% of European companies use specialist software to consolidate assignment data, and a staggering 90% do not use metrics to track assignment success and results.

Leveraging Specialized Tools

To address this gap, organizations can leverage specialized tools like, which provides global mobility teams with flexible frameworks for salary calculations, cost estimates, and assignment management. This tool also features a database to store assignment details and generate a variety of reports, enabling centralized data management and data-driven decision-making.

By implementing a centralized data management approach, organizations can:

➊ Establish a single source of truth for assignment data, ensuring consistency and accuracy across departments and locations.

➋ Streamline data collection, storage, and retrieval processes, improving efficiency and reducing redundancies.

➌ Enhance data security by implementing robust access controls, encryption, and auditing mechanisms.

➍ Facilitate data-driven decision-making by providing real-time access to accurate and comprehensive assignment data.

➎ Improve compliance with data privacy regulations and internal policies by centralizing data governance and oversight.


Centralized data management is a critical component of a comprehensive data security strategy, enabling organizations to effectively manage and secure sensitive data while optimizing operations and decision-making processes for international assignments.

Secure Document Management

To secure document management during international assignments, it is crucial to provide clear guidelines and best practices for data collection, storage, transfer, sharing, and deletion, especially in international contexts. This ensures that sensitive information is handled appropriately at every stage, minimizing the risk of data breaches or mishandling.

➊ Implement a comprehensive document management policy that outlines procedures for:

      • •  Classifying and labelling documents based on their sensitivity level
      • •  Secure storage and access controls for different document categories
      • •  Secure transfer protocols for sharing documents across borders
      • • Proper disposal methods for confidential documents

➋ Educate employees on the importance of adhering to these policies and provide regular training on secure document handling practices.

➌ Leverage secure document management systems with features like:

      • • Encryption for data at rest and in transit
      • • Granular access controls and permission management
      • • Version control and audit trails
      • • Remote wipe capabilities for lost or stolen devices

➍ Establish clear protocols for international document transfers, ensuring compliance with relevant data protection regulations and local laws.

Accurate Documentation and Auditing

Maintaining accurate and organized documentation of transactions, agreements, and shipments is essential to facilitate audits, resolve disputes, and demonstrate compliance. This documentation should be securely stored and easily accessible when needed.

Hence, implementing a centralized document repository with robust access controls and audit trails. Leverage data analytics and reporting tools to gain insights into document management practices, identify potential risks, and make data-driven decisions.

Common International Risks

• Foreign exchange risk: Fluctuations in currency exchange rates can impact the value of investments and cash flow.

• Political risk: Changes in a country’s government policies, such as trade barriers, can adversely impact business.

• Regulatory risk: Sudden changes in a country’s laws and regulations can affect global markets and specific business sectors.

• Cybersecurity risk: Increased reliance on digital systems makes businesses vulnerable to cyberattacks.

• Intellectual property risk: Threat of third parties illegally using a company’s intellectual capital.

• Commercial risk: Failure due to poor business strategies, partner selection, and lack of market knowledge.

• Cross-cultural risk: Challenges arising from differences in customs, norms, language, and customer preferences.

Risk Mitigation Strategies

• Prepare for international fiscal crises by choosing pro-business foreign markets.

• Ensure in-country compliance by partnering with a global Employer of Record (EOR).

• Strategize against currency risks by investing in countries with diversified economies.

• Utilize technology like to protect data.


In today’s interconnected world, data security is paramount for organizations operating across borders. Therefore robust measures such as access controls, secure document management, and comprehensive risk assessment strategies are essential to safeguard sensitive information and ensure compliance. By leveraging centralized data management systems, advanced analytics, and reporting capabilities, companies can gain valuable insights, streamline operations, and drive strategic decision-making for expatriate assignments.

Ultimately, fostering a culture of data security awareness, continuous monitoring, and adopting best practices are crucial steps towards thriving in international assignments. Organizations that prioritize data protection, compliance, and transparency will not only mitigate risks but also build trust with stakeholders, enabling long-term success in the global marketplace.

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