Two-thirds of workers worry about data security when on the move

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Almost two-thirds of business travellers say they have concerns about keeping their company's data secure when they are away from the office.

This is according to a new study by travel management firm CWT, which revealed just 35 per cent of global travellers feel 'very confident' they they will not put their organisation's data at risk when they are on the move. Among European professionals, this figure was just 27 per cent.

Among the most common concerns are that laptops or mobile devices containing sensitive data may be lost or stolen, which was a worry for 29 per cent of respondents. Meanwhile, more than a fifth of respondents (21 per cent) expressed reservations about using public Wi-Fi.

Nearly half of professionals (46 per cent) said they were concerned about the risk of a security breach when trying to get online when outside the office, while 37 per cent admitted to downloading a file they received from an unknown sender and opening phishing emails.

Andrew Jordan, executive vice-president and chief technology officer at CWT, said: "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."

He added that greater awareness and more training for employees about the steps they must take when they are travelling is the best way to guard against any security breaches.

Less than one in five people who travel regularly for business state they had received frequent and formal guidance about data security from their company, while around a third (34 per cent) had received some advice on what not to do.

The survey did note, however, that many professionals are aware of what they must do if they do have an issue. Some 62 per cent of respondents stated they know how to appropriately report a phishing email, while 37 per cent of surveyed travellers claimed to have immediately shut down their device as soon as they became aware of a possible breach. However, only 34 per cent said they notified their company’s IT department.

Mr Jordan said: "These percentages can surely improve dramatically with better training on data safety."