Most employees working away from the office say they are aware of security risks surrounding them and their data, however a new report released on Monday indicates they still engage in risky online behavior.
A global third-party research firm, commissioned by Cisco Systems, announced that workers engage in behavior that includes sharing work computers with non-employees, opening unknown emails, and hijacking neighbors' wireless networks. These activities may compromise the security of the users data, the report shows.
In China, Italy, and Brazil, almost one of every five workers admitted to accessing a neighbor's 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.
Hijacking wireless networks or sharing corporate devices with non-employees is a significant risk for the global IT community, said Jeff Platon, Cisco's vice president of Security Solutions Marketing.
To highlight the U.S. example, the unsafe behavior of 11 remote workers in a company of 100 can bring down a network or compromise corporate information and personal identities. It only takes one security breach. For large enterprises with tens of thousands of workers, especially those with global workforces and differing business cultures, the potential risk is even more challenging.
The report also shows that one of every four remote worker surveyed (25 percent) said he or she opens unknown emails when using work devices.
The challenges posed by remote workers present an opportunity for IT and security teams to become more proactive in protecting their businesses and reshape their role in the eyes of end users - a role that has historically been tactical and reactive.
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