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Poor Remote Working Habits Creating Cybersecurity Risks

Michael Behr

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Remote Working

The rapid pivot to remote working due to the coronavirus has created numerous vulnerabilities for cybercriminals to exploit.

A new survey has found that remote working is creating cybersecurity risks through bad habits, including poor password management, and allowing children to use work devices.

YouGov surveyed 2000 UK employees on behalf of Scottish information technology and cloud computing company Iomart. The survey aims to highlight the cybersecurity risks that can come from seemingly innocuous everyday behaviours in the home.

Chief amongst these was poor use of passwords. While only 2% of respondents said that they used the same password across all their profiles, 40% said some of their accounts used different passwords, 32% said most of their passwords are different, and 6% preferred not to say.

This left only 20% of respondents saying that they took the strongest precaution of using different passwords for everything.

70% of respondents also said that they can access social media on their work computers, and 48% said they were able to access their work email from a non-work device.

In addition, the survey found that 25% of people allow their children to use their work devices. This includes 17% of people who said they used the device for home schooling and 14% for homework. However, 7% said their children used the device for socialising, including playing games.


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Iomart warned that rapid adoption of remote working practices at the beginning of lockdown meant that usual levels of due diligence were abandoned.

However, the report noted that despite the challenges presented by a rushed introduction of remote working, the opportunity exists to create long-term security.

“The lines have been blurred between personal and business use when it comes to their devices,” Iomart chief operating officer Neil Christie said.

“It’s totally understandable; this is not just working remotely, but trying to work from home while juggling childcare, home schooling and the additional burdens the pandemic has brought.

“This change in behaviour patterns, particularly in a busy home, makes the corporate environment more vulnerable to a security breach. Consultation and guidance around security matters should now take precedence as remote working is going to play a much bigger part in the life of every business.

“Business leaders are now reviewing their decisions and considering the longevity of the choices they’ve made. Now is the time to reflect and plot the next stages of their cloud journey much more deliberately,” Christie added.

Michael Behr

Senior Staff Writer

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