Remote Work Not So Secure: Study Says
OneLogin, a global identity and access management company, has released a new global study examining the security implications of the shift to remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The study of 5,000 remote employees from Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and the United States, reveals that security measures and password best practices have not taken priority in many regions. To access the full study, click here.
Nearly 1 in 5 (17.4%) global respondents have shared their work device password with either their spouse or child, potentially exposing corporate data. External threats were also a factor with 36% of global respondents admitting they have not changed their home WiFi password in more than a year, leaving corporate devices exposed to a potential security breach.
The speed required to institute remote work in the early part of 2020 has left many companies vulnerable, particularly as it relates to using work devices for personal purposes. The majority of global remote workers agree (63%) that organizations will align in favor of continued remote work post-pandemic. If this trend continues, many businesses are unknowingly putting company data at risk.
"Organizations everywhere are facing unprecedented challenges as millions of people are working from home," said Brad Brooks, CEO and president of OneLogin. "Passwords pose an even greater risk in this WFH environment and - as our study supports - are the weakest link in exposing businesses' customers and data to bad actors."
A closer look at how individual countries practice security highlights differences in password sharing, willingness to access high-risk websites and more. The study found the following:
- Risky sites: US remote workers are 3X as likely to use work devices to access adult entertainment as the French
- Home networks: US workers are more likely than any other country to have changed their WiFi password within the last month
- Device security: 14% of US remote workers never changed their passwords on their device
- Shadow IT: A third of US respondents have downloaded an app on their work device without approval
- Password sharing: 1 in 5 (21%) US workers have shared a work-related password electronically -- more than twice as many as the UK (7.8%)
"This global remote work study shines the light on the importance of ensuring the right people are accessing internal and customer data at all times. It underscores the importance of protecting employees and their entire organizations, aligning with privacy and security best practices around the world," Brooks said.