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Half of workers 'cut corners' on IT security during COVID-19 remote working

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Nearly half of all workers admit that they may not be taking security concerns seriously when working from home, new research has found.

A report by Tessian claimed that 48 per cent of office workers admit to being not too concerned about adopting safe data security practices while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to the study, the other 52 per cent of office workers feel that while working from home, they can get away with risky data practices such as sharing confidential information over email and using personal devices for office work.

Moreover, just over half of the first group of respondents feel that enterprise data security policies impede their productivity, and around 54 per cent admit to finding their own workaround solutions to this issue. It appears that employees prioritise efficiency and productivity over data protection.

Working from home security

Almost 60 per cent of office workers also acknowledge that information is indeed less secure while working remotely, but over three-quarters insist that their companies trust them - to varying degrees - to stay safe while doing so, Tessian noted. 

Meanwhile, 84 per cent feel that data security is a greater challenge while working remotely, with the danger of data loss over email named as a particular worry as the threat therein is not immediately visible. 

The study also found that for enterprises with over 1000 employees, executives typically projected that only 720 emails are sent annually, on average, to unauthorised accounts. However, according to Tessian’s research, this figure stands at 27,500 - 38 times the leaders’ estimate.

Large companies also say that only 480 emails are sent to the wrong person every year. Tessian’s study, however, finds at least 800 misdirected emails being sent per year— 1.6 times IT leaders’ estimate.

“All it takes is one misdirected email, incorrectly stored data file or weak password, before a business faces a severe data breach that results in the wrath of regulations and financial turmoil," said Tim Sadler, Tessian CEO.

"IT decision makers, therefore, must establish clear guidelines on security best practices, enabling all staff to work efficiently and safely when away from the office."