Inflight Wi-Fi boosts business travelers’ productivity, but it also increases security risks when employees use these often unsecured networks.
“An open Wi-Fi network can pose major risks, such as exposure to viruses and malware,” explained Frank Schuchard, information security officer for BCD Travel. “The company risks losing personal and confidential information. And after the initial hack, further attacks on systems and information might follow. That could lead to sabotage and reputational damage.”
The good news is that every business traveler can take simple precautions to protect personal and company data:
- Install an anti-virus program and firewall.
- Make sure your company-managed portable devices receive compliance updates to security policies.
- Regularly back up data stored on laptops and other mobile devices.
Schuchard noted that some companies might take stronger measures, like restricting public Wi-Fi access completely or disabling unnecessary network interfaces on company devices to reduce entry points for hackers.
But the first phase of protection is always awareness, Schuchard said. “Travelers need to know about the potential impact of their actions and the importance of securing confidential and sensitive information.”