According to research commissioned by CWT, the global travel management company, only 35% of global business travelers feel very confident about not compromising their employer’s data safety when traveling. Travelers from the Americas are significantly more confident (46%) than those in Asia Pacific (28%), or Europe (27%).
“These results show there is still a lot to do around educating travelers on how to look after their company’s data. For instance, connectivity in public spaces can put company data at risk,” said Andrew Jordan, CWT’s Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer. “Awareness and training are key to protecting against any possible security breaches.”
When traveling, the three situations in which respondents were most concerned about exposing company data were having their laptops or other mobile devices stolen, or lost (29%), using public Wi-Fi (21%), and working on their laptop or other mobile devices (9%). These were followed by unintentional sharing of company documents (9%), accessing company emails (8%), opening a file or visiting a website they shouldn’t have (8%), and disposing of paper documents (6%).
These concerns are justified since nearly half of business travelers were concerned about a security breach while online or trying to get online. And this was not the only issue: 37% admitted to downloading an unknown file from an unrecognized sender – and the same percentage opened a phishing email.
Fortunately, most business travelers took action when they became aware of a security or data breach. 37% of surveyed travelers claimed to have immediately shut down their device, 25% reported it to their company, 34% notified their company’s IT department. 62% of those polled confirmed that they knew how to report a phishing email appropriately.
“These percentages can surely improve dramatically with better training on data safety,” said Jordan.
Less than 20% of business travelers said that they received frequent and formal communication and guidance about data and internet security from their company, while 34% said they received some guidance on what not to do.