What is the most appreciated airport amenity? No, it is not exclusive lounges or fine dining. It is fast and free Wi-Fi. Though public Wi-Fi is available, it is not necessarily safe to use or advised without following the recommendations outlined below.
Secure Wi-Fi is frequently sacrificed in order to make is easier for the traveler, causing networks to be unsafe, setup incorrectly or unencrypted, according to a study by Coronet, a cloud security company. While traveler convenience is important to reduce stress, encountering a cyberattack on the road is not worth the risk. To grade airports by their risk level, Coronet compiled data from leisure and business travelers from 45 of the most traveled airports in the U.S..
What can travelers do to stay safe while accessing any public Wi-Fi?
The top method to further safeguard mobile devices while traveling is to utilize a virtual private network (VPN) software, which encrypts your web browsing. Protected internet browsers will add more security to your mobile devices, as well as restricting all network access until required. If you have GPS, Bluetooth, file sharing or other automatic connections, turn them all off when using a public Wi-Fi. Another safe option is to purchase a travel phone for road warriors and tell travelers not to store sensitive information on it. With all of these security tips, travelers should always be following company policy and procedures. “Using public Wi-Fi brings with it a certain amount of risk,” says Rodney Pattison, chief technology officer at Acendas Travel. “It is important for company IT personnel to share with their associates how they can enhance their security. And, it is vital that associates follow company policy so as to not compromise data and systems.”
How can companies protect travelers from a cyberattack?
Security professionals state the foolproof way it to simply not connect to any public Wi-Fi networks. While that is easier said than done, travelers are going to online access at some point of a business trip. Cybersecurity experts recommend verifying the systems on your devices are updated and they contain software to protect from malicious networks. Once downloaded, do not connect if the software notes the network is risky.
What steps should your travelers take after joining a potentially unsafe network?
The cybersecurity professionals at Coronet recommend, the initial step is to determine if your device has malware and delete it. Then, change all passwords and make sure they are more complex. Lastly, if you suspect your company data is susceptible, utilize software to monitor irregular actions on the company server.
Your travelers could be susceptible to a cyberattack if they connect to public Wi-Fi, especially at the airports found in the study to be the most vulnerable. Conversely, travelers may think public Wi-Fi is safe if connecting at one of the least vulnerable airports, cybersecurity specialists still recommend being cautious.
Based on the analysis, the most secure airports in the U.S., are:
- Chicago-Midway International Airport
- Raleigh Durham International Airport
- Nashville International Airport
- Washington Dulles International Airport
- San Antonio International Airport
- Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
- Kansas City International Airport
- Lambert St. Louis International Airport
- Miami International Airport
- Tampa International Airport
The U.S. airports that are at the highest risk, according to the research, are:
- San Diego International Airport
- John Wayne Airport-Orange County Airport
- William P. Houston Hobby Airport
- Southwest Florida International Airport
- Newark Liberty International Airport
- Dallas Love Field
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport
- Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
- Boston Logan International Airport
Corporate Mobile Travel Program
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