Worker Habits are a Major Cybersecurity Threat

Nov. 5, 2015

Study finds employee online behaviors can jeopardize enterprise data.

Even though end users are thought to be more tech savvy than ever before, new research shows that many workers still have dangerous habits that can put business information at risk, such as connecting devices to public Wi-Fi networks, using work devices for personal activities, and not diversifying login information.

The study found that up to 50% of workers use at least 10 separate logins, but only 34% use at least 10 unique logins. The results also show that 94% of employees connect their laptop or mobile device to public Wi-Fi networks, including 78% reporting to check work email and 60% accessing work documents, which can put organizational data at risk from hackers. Additionally, with 45% of employees saying that their organization doesn’t provide any type of training for cybersecurity and 15% trained with paper-based manuals, the study’s authors note that organizations and businesses could do more to educate users on proper cybersecurity best practices.

The research, commissioned by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), consisted of an online survey of 1,200 U.S. employees about their technology use and awareness of cybersecurity situations and best practices as well as a real-world social experiment. The experiment involved placing unbranded USB sticks in public areas to see if consumers would pick up and plug the stick into their devices. When plugged in, the USB sticks would prompt users to send an email to a specific address or click on a link that was being tracked by the researchers. Over several weeks, 17% of people picked up the USB sticks and either sent the email or clicked on the unique link. Researchers are quick to note that even a number of IT industry workers engaged in the risky practice, noting that having cybersecurity knowledge is separate from having secure habits.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Buildings, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Building Better Schools

Download this digital resource to better understand the challenges and opportunities in designing and operating educational facilities for safety, sustainability, and performance...

Tips to Keep Facility Management on Track

How do you plan to fill the knowledge gap as seasoned facility managers retire or leave for new opportunities? Learn about the latest strategies including FM tech innovations ...

The Beauty & Benefits of Biophilic Design in the Built Environment

Biophilic design is a hot trend in design, but what is it and how can building professionals incorporate these strategies for the benefits of occupants? This eHandbook offers ...

The Benefits of Migrating from Analog to DMR Two-Way Radios

Are you still using analog two-way radios? Download this white paper and discover the simple and cost-effective migration path to digital DMR radios that deliver improved audio...