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Furloughed workers could be your biggest security threat

Email overload
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Businesses could be facing an unexpected threat from furloughed employees keen to return to work without taking proper security precautions.

Research from security firm KnowBe4 has warned that, keen to get back into their working routine, many furloughed workers will prioritise speed over security when sorting through their inboxes.

However, doing so may make them more likely to click on phishing emails that could expose their employer to security threats.

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Despite their eagerness to get back up to speed at work, KnowBe4 is urging businesses to make sure their employees are aware of the security threats they may encounter, no matter their position. 

Nearly half (48 percent) of the workers surveyed stated that they were not worried about phishing emails as they believed their “IT team should take care of them”. This was despite 21 percent of respondents believing they would not be capable of correctly identifying a phishing email, opening themselves and their employers up to a number of potential threats.

Overall, only 38 percent of workers said they would carefully filter through their emails and avoid clicking potentially fraudulent links or attachments. In contrast, almost half (47 percent) admitted that heir main priority when resuming work would be to sort through emails as quickly as possible and return to business as usual.

“Without the necessary training, tied with a haste among employees to return to business as usual, organisations may very soon find themselves at the mercy of cybercriminals," said Javvad Malik, Security Awareness Advocate at KnowBe4.

The company is urging employers not to forget security training and awareness sessions, noting that over half (53 percent) of workers said that it had been six months or more since their last security training update.