Based on report by Intermedia, a cloud business solutions provider, examined the security behavioral habits of more than 1,000 office workers in the United States, and almost all [99%] admitted to conducting at least one potentially dangerous action, from sharing and storing login credentials to sending work documents to personal email accounts.
Office workers prioritize convenience over security
Business staff often takes steps to make their job easier, but when it comes to secure data, those steps can put a business at greater risk of being hacked. To combat these behaviors, organizations need solutions that protect confidential information but have minimal impact on an employee’s daily workflow, such as automated backup.
In 2017, the average size of data breaches grew to include more than 24,000 records. Yet when it comes to storing and sharing data, and saving login credentials, Intermedia’s Data Vulnerability Report shows that, despite nearly one quarter [23%] of employees worrying that someone outside of their company could hack or access files due to an email breach, employees continue to ignore best practices opting instead for more convenient, and riskier, practices. For example:
– Roughly 1 in every 4 office workers [24%] reuse the same login credentials for their work and personal accounts.
– Nearly all [96%] office workers automatically save work passwords on their work computer, instead of routinely entering login credentials.
To compound the issue, office workers also continue to save files and store data in easily accessible places:
– More than half [57%] of office workers admit to storing work files on their desktop or in desktop folders.
– One-third [34%] say they store work data on personal file sync and share services, a significant increase from the [12%] who reported doing this in 2015.
The use of personal file sync and share services puts valuable data outside an organization’s security practices and company control – and saving data onto a desktop often means a lack of backup altogether. Both practices leave data unnecessarily vulnerable and hard to recover if compromised.
Many companies run separate endpoint backup, but this approach introduces extra costs and management overhead.
File backup – easy to do but often overlooked.
Employees increasingly share confidential documents in unsafe ways.
A particularly worrisome trend noted in the report is a growing trend to move proprietary data and intellectual property back and forth between work and personal accounts. It’s most common when an employee leaves a company, but current employees do it too.
– One-third [34%] of office workers report accessing work materials after leaving a company, compared to [12%] in 2015.
– [49%] of office workers in IT departments admit to accessing work materials after leaving a company, compared to [28%] in 2015.
Employees pass secure data back and forth at least once a week using unsafe methods. On average, nearly two-thirds [64%] of office workers email a work document to their personal email at least weekly, exposing confidential data to even more threats. And they aren’t just sharing emails or memos. These materials include:
– HR-related information [22%]
– Customer information [19%]
– Company’s strategic information [18%]