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SMB employee survey highlights homeworking cyber risks

1 min read MSPs Cybersecurity
New research from Avast has found that over a quarter of employees (27 per cent) in UK SMBs admit to being more lax with IT security whilst working from home. A further 24 per cent have intentionally circumvented IT security guidance in order to get their job done.

The Mobile Workforce Report 2021 from Avast surveyed 500 IT decision makers and 1000 SMB workers in the UK. In addition, 5 per cent of workers admitted to sending sensitive data to a colleague, vendor or customer through channels that are not approved by their company’s IT team.

A further 16 per cent have taken sensitive business calls whilst family members were in the same room; and 19 per cent have left sensitive business documents lying open on their desk where family members can see. Even more worrying, 5 per cent of SMB employees said their home network had been a victim of a cyberattack during the pandemic.

Marc Botham, VP worldwide channel & alliances at Avast, explained, “Employees who lack cyber smarts are unknowingly putting their business and its customers at risk. Part of empowering employees to be productive and successful in their jobs is giving them the knowledge to do their jobs securely. In providing good cyber security education for teams, SMBs can give employees the digital freedom to do their jobs without concern, something that ultimately results in better successes for the business.”

The report also found only half (57 per cent) of SMB employees had been provided with what they felt was adequate IT security training for working from home. When asked, over half of IT decision makers agreed that keeping employees educated about cyber risks and how to avoid them while they are working from home was difficult.