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Poor Security Hygiene Raises Doubts on the Future of Remote Work

A new study finds out that poor security hygiene is raising questions on the future of remote work

cyber security

While remote work has been tried and tested, and countless studies have also proved work-from-home to be beneficial both for organization and its employees, a recurring – and growing – problem with this new distributed way of working that needs immediate attention is – Cybersecurity.

A new study from CyberArk found that most employees feel more productive as they work from home and want to continue remote work, even after it is deemed safe to return to offices. However, poor security practices could force businesses to reconsider the long-term viability of remote work.

Sixty-seven percent respondents in the survey admit to finding workarounds to corporate security policies in order to be more productive including sending work documents to personal email addresses, sharing passwords, and installing rogue applications. However poor security habits go far beyond sidestepping a policy or two and more education is not changing these behaviors, the study found.

Over half (54%) of the employees surveyed said they had received remote-work specific security training, yet 69% of respondents admit to using corporate devices for personal use. Another danger is that 57% admit that they allow other members of their household to use their corporate devices for activities like schoolwork, gaming and shopping – a 185% increase from a similar survey conducted  in June.
82% admit to reusing passwords – a 12% increase from the spring, the CyberArk study said.

“The global pandemic has been the largest test yet for the future of distributed work. Working people have proven incredibly resilient as they rise to the challenge and overcome the stress and significant obstacles of blending home and work lives,” said Matt Cohen, Chief Operating Officer, CyberArk.

He added, “As we continue to adapt to this new way of operating, it’s the responsibility of both employees and organizations to take responsibility of corporate security. Organizations should continually reinforce best practices and implement user-friendly tools and policies while employees need to understand and be receptive to those policies.”

A report earlier this year by Promon found that two-thirds of remote workers had not received any cybersecurity training from employers. At the same time, 61% of workers claimed to be using personal devices, lacking enterprise-grade security tools.

The study suggests that companies should continuously implement and reinforce user-friendly tools and policies. Simultaneously, employees must operate to a higher standard of security at home so as not to become an attack vector for attackers to easily exploit.”

Business leaders for the most part can trust employees are doing their job, even if they’re working remotely. But when it comes to cybersecurity policy, it seems there’s still some way to go.



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