Remote workers put corporate data at risk

New global research from secure storage maker Apricorn into the security and storage of data finds corporate information is knowingly put at risk by 55 percent of mobile workers.

The research, carried out by Censuswide among 604 UK and US IT security decision makers, also finds that 63 percent expect their mobile/remote workers to expose their organization to the risk of a data breach. 43 percent in the UK (40 percent in the UK and US combined) say their mobile/remote workers don't care about security.

There seems to be a bit of a disconnect though, as 95 percent of those surveyed in the UK and US agree that their organization's mobile/remote workers are aware of IT security risks and practices and followed required policies to protect the data they work with. However, it would seem they may be putting a little too much faith in their ability to do so. This has increased from 58 percent in the UK in 2023 to 92 percent in 2024. Unfortunately, 73 percent of remote employees in the UK and US lack the skills and technology needed to keep data safe, despite being willing to comply with these security measures.

"Organizations must bridge the gap between trust and capability to establish a robust and secure data environment. Investing in comprehensive training programs and the necessary tech to equip employees to safeguard data is crucial. Providing employees with removable USBs and hard drives that automatically encrypt all data written to them, ensures companies can give everyone the capability to securely store data whether at rest or on the move," says Jon Fielding, managing director, EMEA at Apricorn.

Phishing (31 percent) and employees unintentionally putting data at risk (30 percent) take the top spots as the main causes of a data breach within enterprises in the UK and US, closely followed by ransomware (29 percent). In the UK alone, employee error has increased from 22 percent to 30 percent in the last year.

The good news is that whilst employee risk and distrust have increased, organizations are making a definite move to protect their data. When asked if their organization has an information security strategy/policy that covers employees' use of their own IT equipment for mobile/remote working, 54 percent of IT security decision makers across the UK and US say they allow employees to use their own IT equipment remotely. Controlling this access to systems and data through installed software has increased by 33 percent since 2023.

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