Remote workers are still causing a whole host of cybersecurity risks

remote home working
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Despite being the “new normal” for almost three years now, remote and hybrid working is still a major cybersecurity risk for organizations of all shapes and sizes, new research has said.

A report from Lookout surveying 3,000 remote and hybrid workers from enterprises in the US, the UK, France, and Germany, discovered that 92% still perform work tasks on their personal mobile devices. Furthermore, almost half (43%) still use their personal devices, despite being issued company gear.

In total, more than half (56%) end up doing both personal and work tasks on the same device. Also, 45% are using the same password for both work and personal accounts, and 47% use work software for accounts for personal tasks. 

Convenience over security

Sometimes, employees would send emails from their work account to a personal account because it was more convenient that way (57%), and would download, save, or send work-related materials to personal accounts for the same reason (43%). 

But gear is not the only way remote and hybrid workers are putting their organization at risk. The location from which they conduct their work activities is also a huge risk factor, as almost everyone (roughly nine in ten) works in places other than their home.

The most popular places to work are co-working spaces (67%), hotels (65%), outdoors (56%), someone else’s home (52%), and coffee shops (51%). 

A third (31%) of remote workers are less likely to follow safe security practices when working from home, the report concluded. 

Remote and hybrid working greatly contributed to the huge rise in cybersecurity incidents over the last three years, researchers are warning. 

This is mostly because these employees are no longer under the protection of corporate networks and their IT teams. Furthermore, remote working means a much bigger threat landscape, with significantly more endpoints that need securing. 

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.