AS MUCH of the nation returns to working exclusively from home, a new study has revealed that British workers’ security and cybersecurity practices could be putting their jobs at risk in 2021.
A poll of 2,043 UK workers carried out by VPNOverview.com, cybersecurity experts, found that a staggering 68% of employees do not think about the security impact of working from home.
Furthermore, 71% of British workers admitted they have not considered what the implications of a security or cybersecurity breach might be on their work and job security.
Although over two thirds (68%) of people do not consider their cybersecurity while working from home, when asked, a shocking 45% of workers believe that they could lose their job if their working device’s security was compromised. Comparatively, only 28% of workers surveyed are worried about their overall job security currently.
Given the unquestionable impact of higher unemployment due to the on-going pandemic, the results of the research show that the lack of security and cybersecurity acumen amongst the general population whilst working from home could also be causing additional employment vulnerabilities
Workers are risking an average of £2,100 in company-owned hardware and unnamed sums in company data by not taking simple security and cybersecurity measures while they work from home.
The top ways British workers leave themselves vulnerable to a security or cybersecurity breach are: leaving working devices, e.g. laptops, phones and tablet, without password protection (34%), leaving their working devices in plain view of windows (32%), not using a password-protected wi-fi while working from home (26%) and not working on secured servers, databases or cloud systems, such as Google Docs (24%).
Interestingly 1 in 6 (17%) British workers admitted to breaking confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) by talking about their work with friends and family.
Those working in manufacturing and utilities are the worst offenders, with 65% of employees in those industries admitting to having made a cyber security faux pas in the past, closely followed by those working in the construction and engineering industry (61%), with the figure for the recruitment industry coming in at 57%.
David Janssen, security researcher and founder at VPNOverview.com comments: “It’s worrying to see how many workers aren’t taking into consideration their security and cybersecurity, even after almost a year of working from home. With home working unlikely to end any time soon, and a lot of business committing to a hybrid working system when offices can reopen, ensuring these security systems are in place is vital for workers and businesses alike.”
“Businesses and employees need to work together to ensure they are taking the necessary precautions to keep their work devices protected from attacks – by using passwords, secured servers and VPN networks – to make sure jobs are not unintentionally being put at risk.”