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Employees encounter hundreds of risky URLs each month

(Image credit: Image Credit: Atm2003 / Shutterstock)

Employees in the UK, both office-based and remote, click on hundreds of risky links every month, placing themselves and their companies in harm’s way.

This is according to a new report from NetMotion, which analysed anonymised network traffic data to understand employee behaviour and  the potential risks staff face on a daily basis.

The report claims that employees, on average, click on more than eight risky links every day, and access more than 30 malware sites and 10 phishing domains per month. The most common varieties of malicious URLs include botnets, malware sites, spam and adware, phishing and fraud sites.

NetMotion says that the majority of these issues could be prevented by the IT security teams having full visibility into the digital behaviour of their employees, as well as keeping them on local, protected networks.

In many cases, employees use their home networks, public Wi-Fi or cellular networks - all of which are out of the IT security team’s reach. Unlike home or public Wi-Fi, enterprise networks would likely block access to most of these risky addresses.

The risk becomes even greater when employees use their own devices, instead of company-owned, which come with preloaded security software most of the time. 

“IT and security organisations invest heavily to protect their perimeter,” the report states. “Workers located behind desks that are connected to corporate networks are generally safe, secure and productive. They are often unaware that several layers of technology, such as firewalls, are in place to protect them.”