Co-working spaces might actually be a security nightmare

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A new study of more than 1,000 remote workers by Beyond Identity has revealed that co-working spaces could actually be costing businesses their cybersecurity despite being cheaper in terms of rent.

According to the report, co-working spaces are the most likely place for data to be stolen, with 18% having previously chosen to locate themselves in a co-working office and had their data stolen.

Libraries, coffee shops, and cafes follow closely behind, with working in the airport surprisingly safer despite one in five (21%) experiencing data theft when working remotely from another country away from where their office is based.

Remote work comes at a security cost

Despite their reputation for being safer and less susceptible to malware and other cyberattacks, Apple devices came out the worst, with more iPhone and Mac users experiencing data theft compared with PC and Android users.

Beyond Identity says that the main contributor to this, affecting three in five (60%) remote workers, is the failure to encrypt sensitive data. Reused passwords (53%), not using a VPN (40%), and using public Wi-Fi (36%) were also credited with increasing a worker’s vulnerability.

Data theft, including consumer data, employee information, and intellectual property, all occurred fairly frequently, but many businesses were affected by service downtime, financial fraud, and even backdoor creation, exposing them to future attacks.

Finance workers were found to be among the most likely to reuse passwords, share passwords, and travel without telling their employers. Given that this is the most affected industry, according to the statistics, it would be reasonable to think that workers may be more alert.

However, the report reveals that only half (51%) of remote workers received cybersecurity training. In order to move forward more securely, it’s clear that businesses need to fulfil their responsibility better by giving employees the right tools and training.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!