News & Views
Remote workers risk data breach
More than half (57%) of UK IT decision makers still believe that remote workers will expose their organization to the risk of a data breach, according to an annual survey by Apricorn (www.apricorn.com), a leading manufacturer of software-free, 256-bit AES XTS hardware-encrypted USB drives.
This figure has inclined steadily from 44% in 2018 and 50% in 2019. The rise could reflect a corresponding increase in the number of people working remotely, or an enhanced awareness of the risks of doing so as the UK’s workforce began to follow government guidelines to work from home.
Previously, almost half of respondents (47%) admitted that their remote workers had already knowingly put corporate data at risk of a breach in the last year; and organizations are still struggling to get employees to buy into the security strategy.
“This year, the need for organizations to facilitate effective and secure remote working has been cast into the spotlight to an extent no-one could have anticipated,” says Jon Fielding, Managing Director EMEA at Apricorn.
“Our survey shows that while progress has been made in some key areas since 2019, some of the same risks – such as employee apathy or error – remain a problem. In these currently challenging times, when UK workers are being urged to work from home, it’s all the more important that security is a priority for everyone.”
Organizations have increasingly recognized the importance of endpoint control as remote working has become more prevalent. Nearly all (96%) mitigate the risks of BYOD (bring your own device) with a security strategy that covers employees’ use of their own IT equipment out of the office. Of those, 42% only allow the use of devices that have been provisioned or approved by IT, and enforce this with strict security measures. This is a significant rise on 2019, when just over 1 in 10 did so.
“Strengthening endpoint controls allows organizations to trust in the integrity of their data and systems wherever the employee is accessing them, and whatever device they’re using. The fact that businesses are recognizing and enforcing this is a positive step,” comments Fielding.
“Remote working is not a new concept, but with so many employees now having had a taste for home working, it might be hard for businesses to put that particular lid back on – so they need to figure out where their vulnerabilities lie now, and address them.”