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Home » New report on remote working finds alarming security issues

New report on remote working finds alarming security issues

  • Abu Sadeq 

HP recently announced the findings of two new reports titled “Rebellions & Rejection” and “Blurred Lines & Blindspots” – comprehensive global studies assessing organizational cyber risk in an era of remote work.

The global pandemic forced businesses to transform in a matter of days to pivot rapidly from an office-based workforce model to a hybrid model of distributed working. This created a worrying mix of increased cybercriminal activity, reduced visibility for security, and an increasingly distributed workforce working outside the range of IT. Security leaders ended up having a huge challenge in their hands and will need to prioritize security that is fit for purpose.

According to the findings in the HP report, 70% of office workers surveyed admit to using their work devices for personal tasks, while 69% are using personal laptops or printers for work activities. Almost one-third (30%) of remote workers surveyed have let someone else use their work device. As a result of these and other behaviors, home workers are increasingly being targeted by hackers.

HP’s data shows a significant proportion of employees are unsure about security policies. Many see security as a hindrance and have tried to bypass security technologies and controls while WFH. This is particularly true of 18 to 24-year-olds – our future workforce – reflecting a concerning trend that must not be ignored. Their data also shows that Cybersecurity teams can see an iceberg looming ahead in the form of a data breach but feel unheard when they raise an alarm. They’re under pressure to compromise security best practices to enable business continuity at a time of reduced policy compliance, less visibility, and greater cyber risk. The survey also found:

of office workers surveyed aged 18-24 were unsure of the existing data security policies in place at their work

of office workers surveyed had been given training on how to protect their home network

of office workers surveyed aged 18-24 were more worried about deadlines than exposing the business to a data breach

of office workers surveyed aged 18-24 thought security policies are a hindrance

of office workers surveyed said security policies and technologies are too restrictive

of office workers surveyed said security measures result in a lot of wasted time

of IT teams said security took a back seat to continuity during the pandemic

of IT teams felt pressure to compromise security for business continuity

of IT teams believed home working has become a “ticking time bomb” for a network breach


The HP Survey Methodology: The study provides a multi-dimensional view by combining findings from: a global YouGov online survey of 8,443 office workers; a global survey of 1,100 IT Decision Makers (ITDMs), conducted by Toluna; real-world threat data shared by customers from HP Sure Click micro-virtual machines; and analysis from KuppingerCole, an international, independent analyst firm. KuppingerCole notes there has been a 238% increase in global cyberattack volume during the pandemic.

Abu Sadeq is currently the Founder and CEO at Zartech where his mission is to empower organizations to obtain greater cybersecurity maturity. Abu is a certified Chief Information Security Officer (C|CISO) and has a Master of Science degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Texas at Dallas. He has diverse industry experience in Aerospace & Defense, Chemical, Telecom, Healthcare, Oil & Gas, and Consumer Goods. Abu has extensive experience in creating strategies and plans that define IT/Security operational excellence. Abu is also the creator of Cyberator® a sophisticated cybersecurity, governance, risk, and compliance solution.