Survey Finds Almost All Commuters Put Corporate Data at Risk

According to the results of a recent survey conducted by Opinion Matters for GFI Software, fully 95.6 percent of survey respondents admitted using open, public Wi-Fi connections at least once a week to carry out work-related tasks.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. office workers with a tablet or smartphone who travel to and from work on a train, bus or subway also found that 34.2 percent of respondents said they accessed public Wi-Fi at least 20 times per week during their commutes, and some said they did so more than 70 times per week.

Fully 60.9 percent of respondents admitted they’ll use any free Wi-Fi source they can find, and almost 60 percent said they become frustrated if no free, public Wi-Fi is available. At the same time, almost 20 percent of respondents said their mobile devices have no security enabled, not even a password or PIN number.

“The research findings reveal a stark and concerning trend among commuters — one of using their personal devices to catch up on work during their commuting downtime, but doing so over highly insecure Internet connections that can be easily intercepted by other users or the operator of the access point,” GFI Software CEO Walter Scott said in a statement. “Mobile Internet access is now firmly entrenched as a day-to-day norm, but with that has come an increasingly relaxed user attitude to data security, compliance and data governance policy. Companies need to address mobile device management to ensure that use in insecure environments doesn’t create vulnerabilities that could be exploited by criminals — both cyber and conventional.”

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman has been a technology journalist for more than 20 years and an eSecurity Planet contributor since 2009.

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