— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on January 22, Wednesday.
Welcome to the CNBC Business Daily.
With so many high-flyers converging in Davos this week, security is of the utmost priority. But it's not just physical security that organizers are worried about. CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin reports:
From snipers to Swiss Army check points. In Davos, security is no joke. with heads of state and heads of businesses all in one location, the visible security is reassuring. But according to security consultant and former FBI agent Edward Stroz, there is still one risk that virtually no one can prevent.
[Soundbyte on tape by Edward Stroz, Security Consultant and Former FBI Agent] I think all the security that you can see is a part of a comfort bubble. Absolutely. But it can be a step in a direction that doesn't take you as far as you think it has taken you when it comes to your information security. And that's emails, phonecalls, text messages and computer files.
[Soundbyte on tape by Edward Stroz, Security Consultant and Former FBI Agent] People have to work, and you have to be realisitic. The fact that they're located in a single location, they can be targeted. Targeted through WiFi in USB thumb drives. I tell people when they get a thumb drive like that, think of it as a syringe, a needle. Now you wouldn't just put a syringe or a needle into your arm. It's possible that there's code on that thumb drive that's going to be loaded on your device, and could have unintended consequences.
Just last year, unconfirmed reports surfaced out of the G20 Summit in Russia, that participants were given thumb drives bugged by the Kremlin – something Russia denies.
It's something the World Economic Forum takes very seriously, telling CNBC in a statement:
"We look at it from various angles ranging from our reports drawing attention to it as a major area of global business risk to an operational level. We employ encryption technologies where required, and subject ourselves to external and internal audits."
But there are steps you can take as well. Stroz says start with the basics like passwords and having your IT team check your device before you plug them in back home. He also suggests bringing secondary devices – ones with the bare essentials in terms of what's loaded on to them. That way if if it's compromised, the data accessed is limited.
[Soundbyte on tape by Edward Stroz, Security Consultant and Former FBI Agent] Even for things like smartphones, if you're in meetings and they're confidential, perhaps put them on airplane mode. This way, they're less likely to be able to activated, for the microphone to be turned on, for the camera to be turned on.
Small steps that can go a big way in terms of protecting your information.
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