Wednesday, 27th January 2021

Remote working poses significant security risk to UK’s businesses

A third of UK businesses have suffered a data breach because of remote working in the last 12 months, CybSafe study reveals.

A third of the UK businesses have suffered a data breach because of remote working in the last 12 months, according to new research from CybSafe, the training and data analytics platform that helps organisations improve cyber security awareness, behaviour, and culture.

Remote working has risen rapidly over the last 10 years, as businesses have sought to boost productivity, reduce costs, improve staff wellbeing, and access a broader range of talent. According to a survey of IT decision-makers, commissioned by CybSafe, 80% of UK businesses have seen a rise in remote working over the last 2 years.

CybSafe’s research suggests that as remote working has become more common in the UK, businesses aren’t doing enough to adapt and improve their security practices and policies. A quarter of respondents have not implemented basic security precautions such as installing antivirus software, and 30% don’t have any measures in place to restrict files access.

Oz Alashe, CEO and founder of CybSafe, said: “While remote working has the potential to be hugely beneficial to businesses, the threat of related data breaches is being seriously underestimated. Most business leaders assume that their people know how to work safely when working remotely - but the number of data breaches caused by staff working remotely and the lack of training indicates that this isn’t the case. Given that remote working is likely to increase in popularity year on year, this is a problem that’s only going to get worse if businesses refuse to take action.”

The research suggests that most decision-makers are generally overconfident when it comes to telecommuting. Three-quarters of those surveyed believe that each and every employee understands how to safely work remotely. However, only 50% have provided any training to their staff in the last 12 months.

Alashe added: “Businesses need to properly recognise the security challenges of the mobile professional and take a proactive approach - training staff so they recognise and deal with threats at work, on the go, and at home, is important.”

“Most of us work remotely, even if we don’t realise it: we work on the train, in coffee shops, and even walking down the street. The way we work as a nation has changed dramatically over the course of just a decade. How businesses manage cyber security and training must reflect our lifestyles, and help us develop good habits so we can avoid becoming victims.”

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