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Business Travel

72 Percent APAC Travellers Uncertain About Keeping Their Business Information Secure

Any delay in tackling data breaches could mean bigger problems for a company
72 Percent APAC Travellers Uncertain About Keeping Their Business Information Secure
Image credit: Pexels
Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific
3 min read

Travel is an important part of any entrepreneur’s life. There are times when the bad weather halts flight by hours, and a public Wi-Fi hotspot offers a good opportunity to tend to emails and scroll through Facebook or Instagram. Using public Wi-Fi network, however, comes with its set of risks like hacking and data stealing. According to a new research by Carlson Wagonlit Travel, a global travel management company, 72 per cent of Asia Pacific business travellers are not confident about compromising employer’s data during their trips. The survey found that US travellers are the most confident (46 per cent) while Europeans are the least confident ( 27 per cent), compared to the global average of 35 per cent.

The research data was collected from more than 2,000 business travellers from the America (Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico and the United States), Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) and Asia Pacific (Australia, China, India, Japan, Singapore and South Korea). To participate in the study, business travelers were required to have made more than four business trips within the past 12 months.

Top Three Data Security Issues

The research indicates when travelling, 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 per cent), using public Wi-Fi (21 per cent), and working on their laptop or other mobile devices (9 per cent).

These were followed by unintentional sharing of company documents (9 per cent), accessing company emails (8 per cent), opening a file or visiting a website they shouldn’t have (8 per cent), and disposing of paper documents (6 per cent), the research adds.

What’s worse, nearly half of business travellers were concerned about a security breach while online or trying to get online. And this was not the only issue.  The research found that over 37 per cent travellers admitted to downloading an unknown file from an unrecognized sender—and the same percentage opened a phishing email.

Fighting Data Breaches

Data breaches can hit businesses of any size. Fortunately, most business travellers surveyed took action when they became aware of a security or data breach. The research shows that 37 per cent travellers claimed to have immediately shut down their device, 25 per cent reported it to their company and 34 per cent notified their company’s IT department. On the other hand, 62 per cent 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,” says Andrew Jordan, executive vice-president and chief technology officer, Carlson Wagonlit Travel in the research.

Any delay in tackling data breaches could mean even bigger problems for a company. Less than 20 per cent of business travellers said that they received frequent and formal communication and guidance about data and Internet security from their company, while 34 per cent said they received some guidance on what not to do, the research says.

 “These results show there is still a lot to do around educating travellers on how to look after their company’s data. For instance, connectivity in public spaces can put company data at risk. Awareness and training is the key to protecting against any possible security breaches,” adds Jordan.

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