More than two-thirds (68%) of UK workers do not consider the cybersecurity impact of working from home, according to a new study by VPNOverview.com.
The survey of 2043 employees in the UK demonstrated a lack of awareness about how to stay secure whilst working remotely, which is putting businesses at risk of attacks. The shift to home working as a result of COVID-19 means that staff in many organizations are operating across insecure devices and networks, providing opportunities for cyber-criminals.
Although 71% of workers do not think about the implications a cybersecurity breach could have on their work and job security, when asked, 45% said they could lose their job if their working device’s security was compromised.
VPNOverview calculated that home workers are risking an average of £2100 in company hardware and unnamed sums in company data by not undertaking basic security practices. These include not having password protection for working devices (34%), leaving working devices in plain view of windows (32%), not using password-protected Wi-Fi while working from home (26%) and not operating on secured servers, databases or cloud systems (24%).
The industries in which the highest rates of cybersecurity errors were made were manufacturing and utilities (65%), construction and engineering (61%) and recruitment (57%).
In addition, 17% of all employees polled admitted to breaking confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) by discussing work matters with friends and family.
David Janssen, security researcher and founder, VPNOverview.com, commented: “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.”