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Homeworking has made UK employees ‘cyber-lax’: survey

Research by Mimecast indicates widening divide in cyber security awareness across business divisions as Coronavirus-related remote working continues.

After working from home for months, Britons have developed ‘lax’ cyber security habits. According to a survey of cyber security awareness and best practices in the UK by Mimecast:

  • 63% of UK workers polled use their personal devices to access the employer IT systems.
  • Almost 60% forward personal emails to their professional email accounts, and vice-versa, as the lines between their personal and professional lives ‘blur’.
  • 4% customarily open attachments from unknown sources; 47.1% click on links in emails from unknown sources.

Email remains the primary source of cyber security issues: 42% of IT leaders polled acknowledge most cyber security incidents start when an employee clicks on a malicious link contained in a bad email. Thirty percent say that these emails mimic an internal source – this increases the challenge to identify whether a source is legitimate or not for employees who may not have seen their colleagues since March (2020).

“With many offices forced to close overnight, many workforces were working remotely for the first time,” says Francis Gaffney, Director of Threat Analysis at Mimecast. “This obviously had major implications for cyber security, as IT had limited visibility into employee cyber habits.”

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