Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Many firms expect their remote workers to put them at risk of a data breach

By Sophie Tyler

Worrying, more than a third of IT leaders state their remote workers don’t care about security.

A recent survey has revealed that more than half (57%) of UK IT decision makers believe that remote workers will expose their organisation to the risk of a data breach.

The annual survey, commissioned by Apricorn, shows that 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.

In 2019 almost half of the respondents (47%) admitted that their remote workers had already knowingly put corporate data at risk of a breach in the last year; this has now dropped slightly to 44%.

Worrying, just over a third (34%) of IT leaders say their remote workers simply don’t care about security – exactly the same percentage as last year – which suggests organisations are struggling to get employees to buy into the security strategy.

Jon Fielding, Managing Director EMEA, Apricorn, commented on the findings, “This year, the need for organisations to facilitate effective and secure remote working has been cast into the spotlight to an extent no-one could have anticipated.

“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.”

Fielding added, “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.”

When it comes to the challenges of implementing a cybersecurity plan for remote working, almost a fifth of IT decision makers (19%) say managing all the technology employees need is the biggest problem, a drop from 30% in 2019, which suggests that organisations are getting a handle on the complexity involved in the technology aspect.

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