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Poor password practices compound remote working risk

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/jijomathaidesigners)

When it comes to working form home, convenience often trumps security – despite warnings to employees over potential data breaches, downtime and theft.

This is according to a new report from CyberArk, which claims remote workers are using the same passwords across multiple services, saving them in an insecure fashion via web browsers and allowing other family members (including kids) to use remote working devices.

Despite the majority of IT teams making only minor alterations to security protocols since lockdown began, almost all (91 percent) are confident in their ability to secure their new remote workforce.

However, almost two thirds of employees are using unmanaged and insecure BYOD devices to access corporate systems, while more than half (57 percent) often use communication and collaboration tools that have been “the focus of highly publicised security flaws”.

According to the report, working parents pose the greatest risk to data security. The need to juggle work obligations with entertaining, educating and feeding children at home means security lapses are inevitable. In such a high-pressure environment, “it’s no surprise that convenience would outweigh good cybersecurity practices”, said the report.

“With the accelerated use of collaboration tools and home networks for professional purposes, best-practice security is struggling to keep pace with the need for convenience which, in turn, is leaving businesses vulnerable,” said Rich Turner, SVP EMEA at CyberArk.

“Responsibility for security needs to be split between employees and employers. As more UK organisations extend remote work for the longer term, employees must be vigilant."

"Simultaneously, businesses must constantly review their security policies to ensure employees only have access to the critical data and systems they need to do their work, and no more. Decreasing exposure is critical in the context of an expanded attack surface.”