Employees' risky behaviour puts organisations in a tight spot

Employees have poor security practices and use completely unsecured private devices for work, putting their organisations at huge risk of cyber-attacks, a new report by WinMagic says. After polling workers in the UK, the report says more than four in ten (42 per cent) use private devices for work, accessing corporate data and e-mail accounts. 

More than half (52 per cent) have said to be using private accounts, including Enterprise File Sharing Services (EFSS), which they use to either store, or access corporate files.  Only a third (34 per cent) said they had never done so. Laptops, smartphones and USB devices are the top three personal devices used for work, and Hotmail, Gmail and Dropbox are the top three online services used by employees. 

None of this would be too much of a problem if these devices, and the way these services are used, weren't completely unsecured. Approximately half (52 per cent) said to be using some security software to protect themselves.  

Mark Hickman, Chief Operating officer at WinMagic, commented: “IT departments need to consider carefully how they strike the balance between giving employees the flexibility they need, and ensuring the security of corporate data. Achieving that requires a combination of software and employee education, to help improve personal IT habits that are out of control of the workplace. This is one of many areas where encryption can play a key role, protecting data stored in the cloud and on remote devices, on personal as well as corporate accounts. Encryption remains the last line of defence, when an online account is breached or a device lost.”     

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