Most Americans travel with their work devices

Over the course of the holiday season this year, more than half of the working adults in the United States will be traveling with one or more of their work devices.

Unfortunately, only a tiny fraction of those fully appreciate the data security risks inherent in travel, which is a grim reality that could put your company and its data at risk.

Key data from recent surveys

To give you a sense of exactly how bad the situation is, here are a few of the highlights from a recent data security survey conducted by ObserveIT.  A word of warning, break out the antacid tablets before reading further.

  • 77 percent of survey respondents say they will connect to free public WiFi while traveling this year.
  • 63 percent of survey respondents say they plan to use public WiFi to access work emails and company files.
  • 64 percent of all insider threat incidents in 2017 were caused, at the root, by employee negligence.
  • 49 percent of survey respondents indicated that they had no knowledge of a company-wide cybersecurity travel policy.
  • Just 17 percent of survey respondents indicated that they regularly connected via a VPN outside the office.

If you run a business of any size, odds are excellent that at least some of your employees will be working while traveling over the holidays.  Based on these statistics, you can be worried that at some point, some of your company's data is going to be at risk.

It's been common knowledge for some time now that employees are the weakest link when it comes to data security.  In response to that knowledge, companies have been ramping up their efforts to educate their employees on security practices and the vital role they play in protecting the interests of the company they work for

Our perspective

Sadly, those efforts haven't proven helpful yet.  It's something to be aware of this holiday season.  Make sure your employees know how to protect themselves and your business while traveling.

The author

Thanks for reading this short post. For more tips on thriving with small business technology, check out the other blog posts at DWPia Blogs. I am also available at dwpia on LinkedIn, at dwpia on Facebook, and @dwpia on Twitter.

Cybersecurity Expert, Small Business Technology Consultant, Managed Services Provider, Managed IT Support

Denis S Wilson

I am President and Principal Consultant for DWP Information Architects: specializing in managed IT support for smaller healthcare practices, clinics, insurance companies, law firms, and construction companies in Ventura County and San Fernando Valley. And have created cost-effective IT solutions, for over 20 years, specializing in cybersecurity and regulatory compliance.

I am also a published author and speaker, working extensively with organizations that include: the State of California, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE, Women's Business Centers, and Small Business Development Centers. As well as providing small business technology education programs through business and professional associations.

Contact me if you would like me to speak at your meeting.

Meanwhile, check out this report

Executive Report: 10 Hidden IT Risks That Might Threaten Your Business