Survey shows lack of security concerns
A global third-party study commissioned by Cisco Systems reveals
that while most remote workers claim they are aware
of security issues, their behaviour which includes sharing
work computers with non-employees, opening unknown e-mails,
and hijacking neighbours wireless networks suggests
otherwise. The study involved 1,000 teleworkers in 10
countries. The survey was executed in the United States,
United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, China,
India, Australia, and Brazil.
The objective was to better understand how teleworkers perceptions and behaviour
heighten security risks for the global network community, IT organisations and
the businesses that they support. It also spotlights the challenge that behavioural
and cultural tendencies create for IT security teams as more employees work
outside the traditional domain. Whether they work at home, cyber cafe, or in
a hotel, findings indicate that remote workers aggravate network security concerns
because of a false sense of awareness.
In fact, while two of every three teleworkers surveyed (66 percent) claimed
they were aware of security concerns when working remotely, many admitted behaviour
that undermines and contradicts their awareness. Their reasons offer valuable
insight for IT and security managers around the globe, initiating a need for
higher, proactive relationships with end-users. The study revealed that more
than one of every five remote workers surveyed (21 percent) allowed friends,
family members or other non-employees to use his or her work computer to access
the Internet. In China, more than two of every five (42 percent) admitted to
sharing their work computers. While in Japan, more end-users share their work
computers with others (13 percent) than those who use them for their own personal
use (12 percent).
The reasons quoted for the same included statements such as I dont
see anything wrong with it; My company doesnt mind me doing
so; I dont think letting them use it increases security risks;
I doubt my company would care; and Co-workers do it.
In China, Italy, and Brazil, almost one of every five teleworkers admitted to
accessing a neighbours wireless network when working from home. Although
the global average was 11 percent, Germany (15 percent) and the United States
(12 percent) joined China, Italy, and Brazil in eclipsing the worldwide mark.
One of every four remote worker surveyed (25 percent) said he or she opens unknown
e-mails when using work devices. In China, more than half of the respondents
(57 percent) admitted they open e-mails from unknown sources. Key finding reveals
that in India, 20 percent of teleworkers said they open unknown e-mails and
attachments, and in Brazil, 12 percent admitted doing so.
Only 29 percent of remote workers surveyed in the 10 countries admitted that
they use their work computers for personal activities. However, 40 percent admitted
that they use their work computers for online shopping. This discrepancy occurred
in eight of the 10 countries (excluding China and India). For example, in the
UK, only 27 percent admitted using their work computer for personal reasons,
but 53 percent said they shop online when working remotely.
Reasons justified for the same were, My company doesnt mind me doing
so; I would never get things done if I didnt do them while
at work; I doubt my company would care; Shopping online
cant result in security problems; and I think my work computer
is more secure than my home computer.