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Lack of tech upgrades could be increasing the risk of data breaches

(Image credit: Image Credit: Wright Studio / Shutterstock)

Employees working from home due to the global pandemic may be at risk of cyberattack due to a lack of protection from not having the latest technology.

A survey from DSA Connect notes that not having up-to-date hardware and software when working from home greatly heightens the chance of suffering cyberattacks such as data breaches.

It found that 30% of workers say it has started to take longer for their employers to upgrade their hardware technology at work over the past five years, with one in five saying they are having to wait a ‘lot longer’ for upgrades.  

Overall, 6% of people have not had their work desktop computer upgraded for at least five years, and a shocking 13% have had no upgrade for between three and five years. One in ten say their work laptop has not been upgraded for at least three years, with 8% and 10% reporting the same issue for work mobile phones and tablets respectively.

This lack of updated kit means workers are facing increased risk from cybercrime, with attackers often targeting older, unpatched or unsupported hardware. And with employers needing to cut costs and find savings as the global pandemic continues to have an effect on businesses of all sizes, there is a fear that many workers will remain at risk of attack due to a lack of budget for hardware upgrades.

“The use of older technology can dramatically increase the chances of becoming a victim of a cyber-attack and incurring data breaches," noted Harry Benham, Chairman of DSA Connect.

“I understand why employers don’t necessarily want to spend money on upgrading their technology and many will be under pressure to cut their budgets due to the financial strain caused by coronavirus.  However, they should not only assess the impact on employee productivity from not upgrading, but also the greater risk they face of suffering a cyber-attack and a serious data breach.”

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro, and has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and ITProPortal.