Workers are putting their employers at risk by sharing their network-connected devices with their colleagues, partners and children.

According to a report by OneLogin, 13 per cent of US employees let their colleagues use devices connected to their employers’ networks, nine per cent lend them to their partners and one per cent even let their kids use them, putting their firms’ security at risk.

Meanwhile, 20 per cent say they share their work email passwords and 12 per cent share passwords to other work applications. Nearly half of workers say they are unaware of any company policies governing the sharing of these passwords, the survey showed.

It also revealed that one in five employees do not have any security software to protect the mobile devices they use for work beyond what ships with their operating systems.

“Security breaches are a near-daily occurrence in the news,” said Alvaro Hoyos, chief information security officer at OneLogin.

“Given that it takes only one compromised account to lead to a breach, these lax security practices are troubling, especially when you consider that they could take place at your bank, at your children’s school or in your local government. A breach at one location can lead to others, especially with bad password habits like password reuse.

“Technical controls should be put in place to ensure only authorised workers are accessing data securely and these should be reinforced with security awareness efforts as well.

“For example, using single sign-on and identity management solutions to enforce role based access and step up authentication establishes a strong security foundation, and coupling that with periodic security awareness training or simple reminders, strengthens that foundation.”

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