Hstoday Survey Finds Most Companies Not Protecting Travelers From Cybercrime | #cybercrime | #infosec

According to a new survey of North American business travelers commissioned by World Travel Protection, despite the alarming rise of cybercrime, companies may not be doing enough to protect their business travelers from being the target of an attack, potentially exposing criminals to sensitive company information and data, 


  • Survey finds less than 4 in 10 business travelers say their companies have asked them to ensure two-way authentication on work devices
  • Less than a third say their companies require them to use a VPN or ensure antivirus software is installed on devices
  • Less than a third say they refrain from using unsecured Wi-Fi networks, despite being concerned about getting hacked
  • Few say their organizations require a cybersecurity training course before traveling
  • 1 in 10 say their company hasn’t asked them to take any cybersecurity measures while traveling

The Opinium survey reveals that only about a third of companies require their travelers to adopt basic cybersecurity measures, such as ensuring two-way authentication on devices (US 36%, CAN 36%), using a VPN (US 30%, CAN 32%) or having antivirus software installed on devices when traveling (US 32%, CAN 32%). Only a quarter of respondents say their companies have asked them to take a training course on how to improve cybersecurity (US 28%, CAN 24%).

Additionally, less than a third of business travelers say they are asked by their company to avoid unsecured Wi-Fi networks (US 32%, CAN 28%), use a laptop screen protector while working in public (US 28%, CAN 20%), or ensure their laptop is stripped of all but essential files for the trip (US 20%, CAN 14%). One in 10 say their organization hasn’t asked them to take any cybersecurity measures at all (US 8%, CAN 10%).  

“This data is alarming, as cybercrime presents a large and growing risk to companies, threatening to disrupt their operations, tarnish their reputation, and expose them to legal action if they fail to safeguard data,” says Frank Harrison, Regional Security Director Americas, World Travel Protection.

Harrison notes that the number of malware attacks worldwide reached 5.5 billion in 2022 and continues to grow, adding business travelers are an easy target to exploit, as they often carry sensitive company information and frequently use laptops and mobile devices in busy public places such as airports. Mobile devices are prime targets for an attack, and business travelers should be particularly wary if they lose their devices.  

“Threat actors now have the capabilities to identify and target mobile devices, deliver malicious code to the device, access a device to track your location, activate your device’s microphone, and intercept messages,” Harrison adds. Adopting cyber secure measures that focus on risk mitigation is essential for all organizations’ travel policies to protect travelers and their data.”

Harrison offers suggested starting points for companies to improve their cyber hygiene, noting the importance of keeping device software updated, using antivirus software that includes a VPN component, and requiring strong app and online account passwords, preferably biometric with Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) enabled. He also recommends utilizing secure mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, rather than public Wi-Fi, for internet access in public or unknown areas.

*This release offers a snapshot of the attitudes and perceptions of business travelers from the US and Canada on cybersecurity in 2023. Research was conducted by Opinium Research from January 23 – February 2, 2023, amongst 1,000 adults who travel for business at least once a year in the US (500) and Canada (500).

The Government Technology & Services Coalition’s Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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