Personal devices could pose a risk as workers go back to the office

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New research shows that 61 percent of employees intend to bring their personal devices into the office as they return to more conventional working patterns.

A study of 2,000 UK employees, conducted by Censuswide on behalf of asset visibility and security platform provider Armis, shows 61 percent of employees use their personal mobile phone and 44 percent use their own laptop for business purposes.

Almost 60 percent of respondents don't believe their personal devices represent a threat to their organizations. However 25 percent admit to having insufficient policies in place to ensure they are properly secure.

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Individuals in the legal, manufacturing and utilities, healthcare and retail, and catering and leisure sectors are most likely to say that personal devices don't represent a threat to their organizations. Those in sales, media and marketing, manufacturing and utilities, and travel and transport are least likely to have policies in place to secure devices used from home, making them more at risk.

Over the lockdown period there has been a massive increase in cyber-attacks on companies of all sizes, with almost 177,000 incidents in 2020 alone. These are often the result of unsecured devices, as they present a vulnerable entry point for attackers to exploit and gain access to a corporate or company network.

"This year especially we have seen a surge in successful cyber-attacks, in which threat actors exploited weak entry points and unsecured devices," says Andy Norton, European cyber-risk officer at Armis. "The HSE ransomware attack, for instance, was the result of a phishing link, which then infected an entire network. The Florida water supply hack was down to a weak, out-of-date software. These types of attacks are highlighting the importance of increasing security measures wherever possible, especially now with the risk of hundreds of new, unsecured devices overwhelming systems and IT departments with new ways to access a network."

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