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Many workers ignore security risks to maximize productivity

(Image credit: Image Credit: Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock)

A large proportion of employees often take shortcuts to optimize productivity at work, despite understanding the security risks, new data suggests.

According to security company ThycoticCentrify, which polled 8,000 workers worldwide, almost four in five (79%) have engaged in one or more “risky activity” in the past twelve months.

In a third of cases (35%), this involved saving passwords to their browser. A similar percentage admitted to using a single password across multiple online accounts, while 23% connected personal devices to corporate networks.

A major problem for businesses, Thycotic suggests, is that employees do not often connect the dots between their own actions and the potential impact on the organization. Of those surveyed, almost all (98%) understood the dangers associated with credential sharing and clicking on unsolicited links, yet just 16% felt their company is at high risk of cyberattack.

“People working in the cybersecurity sector know how their colleagues should behave when it comes to keeping their devices safe and protecting the wider company. But are these messages getting through,” asked Joseph Carson, Chief Security Scientist and Advisory CISO at Thycotic.

“We’d urge employers to redouble efforts to encourage the best possible digital security practices in staff and remind them of the risks of failing to secure networks.”

Carson went on to note that the ramifications of a cyberattack - a ransomware infection, for example - can have a serious and lasting impact, which should give businesses every incentive to rectify gaps in their security armor.

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Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, and has been a Staff Writer working across both TechRadar Pro and ITProPortal.