Technology

Business Travellers likely to be victim of cyber crime

Amy Bryant

Business Travellers Are More Likely To Be Robbed Of Their Data than Their Travel Money.

Kaspersky Lab’s latest report shows business travellers are more likely to be mugged of valuable private and corporate data than of their travel money, and yet their indiscriminate behaviour while online, particularly among senior executives, is playing into the hands of cybercriminals.

One in five people have been a target of cyber-crime while abroad, rising to almost a third (31%) of senior business managers. At the same time, half of people traveling for work (54%), and up to 62% of senior executives, make no distinction between their behaviours when abroad, despite the fact they are a long way from the security of their work communications networks, and they are handling employers’ confidential data at work.

Shot of a young businessman reading a text while sitting at an outdoor cafe

“This report shows us that cybercrime is a real hazard while traveling, and employees are putting confidential business information at risk. The insight provided by the report should be a red flag for corporate information security specialists, as the business travel behaviour we have unearthed here presents a significant corporate data protection challenge,” Head of Endpoint Product Management at Kaspersky Lab,Konstantin Voronkov said.

The study from Kaspersky Lab polled 11,850 people from across Europe, Russia, Latin America, Asia Pacific and the US. It found the pressure from work to get online is clouding the judgment of business travellers when connecting to the Internet.

Three in five (59%) of people in senior roles say they try to log on as quickly as possible upon arrival abroad because there is an expectation at work that they will stay connected. By the time business travellers reach the arrivals terminal, one in six is using their work device to get online. Almost half (48%) of senior managers and more than two in five (43%) of mid-level managers use unsecure public access Wi-Fi networks to connect their work devices when abroad. At least two in five (44% and 40%, respectively) use Wi-Fi to transmit work emails with sensitive or confidential attachments.

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One reason business travellers are doing so, the report finds, is a widely held assumption their work devices are inherently more secure than private communications tools, regardless of their connectivity. Two in five (41%) expect their employers to have set strong security measures. This is most pronounced among business leaders (53%) and mid-level executives (46%).

Twice as many (47%) think that, if employers are to send staff overseas, they must accept any security risks that go with it. But a large proportion of business travellers, and particularly business leaders, are not helping with their indiscriminate behaviour when abroad.

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One in five (20%) senior executives admit to using work devices to access websites of a sensitive nature via Wi-Fi – compared to an average 12%. One in four (27%) have done the same for online banking – compared to an average 16%.

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