Voice of the Employee

Individuals’ attitudes towards personal security are transferring across to measures used at work, as new research finds that workers feel more vulnerable to cyber attacks compared to a year ago.

Nearly two thirds of workers said that they felt more at risk of attack, while 71 per cent called an instance of data theft “inevitable”, research from Censuswide and Citrix has found.

Research showed that only 15 per cent of respondents aged over 55 years old felt that they were vulnerable to hacks, but one third of 16 to 25 year-olds said they were at risk.

However, attempts to combat the threat are outdated, with 68 per cent of respondents choosing shredding as their preferred method of disposal due to a belief that physical documentation poses the largest threat to a company’s security.

Respondents appeared to lack information regarding the best methods to protect their personal data, with methods ranging from only “using Linux-based software” due to its reputation for security to “creating confusing personal information”.

Despite the surge in the uptake of cloud security over the last few years, 30 per cent of respondents still preferred to use USB drives to back up their information compared to the nine per cent who choose the cloud.

Workers’ habits also demonstrated some confusion over the security of online banking, with some saying that they never bank online to ensure security and others saying that they conduct their banking activities exclusively online.

Chris Mayers, Citrix’s chief security architect, said that younger users may feel more vulnerable as a result of storing “large volumes of important data online”.

He commented that “many workers are still reliant on dated practices to store and protect their information when more advanced and robust measures are available”.

“Companies will need to convince staff that cloud networks are a safe and reliable way to safeguard business-critical data and intellectual property,” Mayers told Business Reporter.

“For the worker, it’s often very difficult to tell the difference in quality from one cloud storage provider to the next, which is why they need to be adequately trained.”

Mayers also said that consumers were unaware of the reliability of enterprise-grade software as opposed to consumer-grade products and services.

“There’s an important distinction between people’s personal data and corporate data, and there’s a potential problem that people’s attitudes might carry over to the handling of corporate data.

“Training is really important with corporate data so that people understand that they really do have the ability to influence what happens with it.”

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