IT Security

Carrying work in our pockets

by Mark Rowe

The UK is a constantly connected nation, with a quarter of employees admitting that work apps are the first thing they view on their mobile devices when they wake up, coming before social media (18 per cent) and news sites (11 per cent). In addition, two-thirds (66 per cent) check their work apps while on public transport, 37 per cent whilst in bed, 30 per cent in the car and 18 per cent on a night out. There’s no denying that connectivity is crucial in modern business, but as the habit of accessing work data out of the office increases, as does the opportunity for unauthorised personnel to put this data at risk, according to research by OneLogin, a cloud-based Identity & Access Management (IAM) product company.

UK employees are quite literally never leaving work, with almost half (46 per cent) of respondents having one to two work apps on their mobile device and almost a quarter (23 per cent) admitting to have more than three. All respondents admit to checking their work apps at least once a day while outside of work.

Although staying connected is great for an organisation’s productivity, it may not be best for employee’s work-life balance, with around a third (28 per cent) worrying that they are too connected and should check work apps less. Almost one in ten (7 per cent) actually check their work apps more than they check their personal ones.

Britons’ work obsession is now putting corporate data at risk, it’s claimed. Although three-quarters have security software set up on their work devices (potentially due to organisation’s security policies), employees are making a habit of bypassing simple security procedures. One-in-ten would readily give colleagues access to their work device (11 per cent) and a further one-in-ten (9 per cent) would grant their partners access. 35 per cent would actually share their passwords for work-related technology (devices, apps and emails) with close friends and family. By default these additional people are then granted access to the corporate network.

Further issues arise when employees use their personal devices at work, especially when they aren’t particularly security savvy. 54 per cent of workers access work apps on their personal device, while 33 per cent of those surveyed have no security software set up on these devices.

Per Stritich, VP of EMEA at OneLogin, says: “Whether we like it or not, the UK is becoming a nation of workaholics, quite literally carrying work around in our pockets, on public transport with us, on holiday, and even to the bathroom. Remote and desk-less employees are of course largely beneficial to organisations in terms of productivity and scaling down on costs. However, the correct measures need to be put in place to ensure remote workforces are accessing data securely and that it’s not placed in the hands of others. For example, single sign-on technologies and IAM solutions will ensure only the employee can access work data, no matter who else gets their hands on the device.”


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