Risky business: Public Conversations Putting Company Data In Peril

Risky business: Public Conversations Putting Company Data In Peril

Workers in Australia are putting business privacy at risk when working outside of the office, with cafés topping the list of chancy locations for business privacy, According to new research by workplace provider Regus.

Louise Proctor
Posted by Louise Proctor

The Regus survey canvassing over 22,000 respondents in more than 100 countries found that although cafés are a popular time-out point for Australians to catch up on tasks while on-the-go, 67% of businesses say this is where the privacy of documents and conversations are most at danger.

Airport business lounges (50%) as well as hotel bars (46%) were other locations respondents reported company data is put at serious risk.

However, cafés and lounges are not the only place where sensitive business information can fall into the wrong hands. Over half of respondents cited working with documents or laptops on board flights (54%) and on trains (37%) were also dangerous for maintaining information security.

Top risk spots for business privacy Australia
1. Cafés 67%
2. On board flights 54%
3. Airline business lounges 50%
4. Hotel bars and lounges 46%
5. On board trains 37%

 In terms of activities that put company secrets at risk, 78% of respondents believe conversations on mobile phones are the most likely place to expose confidential business information to potential competitors. This is followed by printed documents that can easily be read by people peering over your shoulder (62%), and open laptop screens (59%), which were reported to be easy prey for snoopers.

Commenting on the study, CEO of Regus Australia and New Zealand, Paul Migliorini, said: “By the end of next year International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts there will be over 1.3 billion flexible and mobile workers globally. These ‘on the move’ workers rely on two things: mobile technology and somewhere to work outside their company or home office.

“We’ve all been in a situation where we have to take a sensitive client call or go through important emails or documents while on the road or in between meetings. However, we are often putting our business’s interests at risk by having to conduct that call in a busy café, or crunching those numbers on a packed flight.

“For smart companies, providing a mix of physical and technological resources is essential to safeguard information. From virtual desktops to private meeting rooms, there are smart ways to protect yourself. At Regus, we are seeing an increasing number of businesses utilise our drop-in meeting services and private spaces at over 60 locations across Australia.”