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Security teams are struggling to curb employees’ risky work behaviors online

(Image credit: Image Credit: B-lay)

Warnings from security experts about the myriad of threats lurking online have fallen on deaf ears, as the majority of employees are still actively engaged in unsafe and unproductive web activity (opens in new tab) when they should be working.

This is according to a new report from Censornet, based on a poll of 300 cybersecurity pros, which states that two thirds (67 percent) of security staff caught employees breaking established rules.

Most of them were engaged in harmless activities, such as watching their favorite Netflix or Amazon Prime content. However, others (27 percent) have caught employees downloading pirated material onto work devices, visiting adult sites (21 percent) and bypassing security measures to access blacklisted content (21 percent).

But security pros hardly hold the moral high ground, many of whom admitted to bending the rules themselves. Security staff conceded to streaming entertainment content at work, using work credentials for personal accounts, downloading pirated content and even visiting adult sites at work.

Many respondents also admitted to using the same password across multiple accounts, storing sensitive data without proper protection, sharing links to documents with third parties without authorization, as well as sharing cloud service logins with other people.

To add insult to injury, most cybersecurity staff are guilty of underestimating the risks (opens in new tab), falling foul of the assumption that cloud security solutions are adequately protecting staff at home.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.