Work-from-home habits – including password re-use and letting family members use corporate devices – are putting critical business systems and sensitive data at risk, according to a new survey from Israeli-American cybersecurity company CyberArk.
The survey, which gauged the state of security in the expanded remote work environment caused by the coronavirus pandemic, found that:
• 77% of remote employees are using unmanaged, insecure “BYOD” devices to access corporate systems.
• 66% of employees have adopted communication and collaboration tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, which have recently reported security vulnerabilities.
Working parents pose the biggest corporate security risks, the study found. That’s no doubt because they had to get their work done while acting as teachers, caregivers and playmates with their kids home from school. The survey found that:
• 93% of working parents have reused passwords across applications and devices.
• 29% admitted that they allow other members of their household to use their corporate devices for activities like schoolwork, gaming and shopping.
• 37% insecurely save passwords in browsers on their corporate devices.
While 94% of IT teams are confident in their ability to secure the new remote workforce, 40% have not increased their security protocols despite the significant change in the way employees connect to corporate systems and the addition of new productivity applications.
“The security posture of organizations continues to be tested as many remote employees face daunting challenges balancing productivity and security across their professional and personal workspaces,” said Marianne Budnik, CMO, CyberArk.
“As more organizations extend work-from-home policies for the long term, it’s important to capture lessons learned from the initial phases of remote work and shape future cybersecurity strategies that don’t require employees to make tradeoffs that could put their company at risk.”
The CyberArk Remote Work survey was conducted in late April by an independent research agency. The study included responses from 3,000 remote office workers and IT professionals in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany.