Remote Employees Adopt Bad Cybersecurity Habits While Working From Home

A new report focused on businesses looking to bring employees back to the office makes it very clear that security leaders are concerned, as remote workers have been anything but secure.

I don’t entirely blame the remote worker – they were told to stay home, use the computer you own, start using these new web-based alternatives to work applications, figure out how to be productive, and somehow make it through the pandemic keeping their family and themselves safe. That’s a lot to put on one person’s plate… and then ask them to also be super vigilant and secure for the company’s sake.

According to new data from security vendor Tessian in their Back to Work Security Behaviors Report, it’s evident that security leaders are well aware of the challenges related to having tried to keep a remote workforce secure and how this is going to impact the business once employees come back to the office.

  • 56% of IT leadership believe employees have adopted bad cybersecurity behaviors while working from home
  • 54% are worried remote workers will bring infected devices and malware into the office

And employees are confirming this concern:

  • 1 in 3 employees think they can get away with riskier security behaviors when working remotely
  • 40% of employees plan to bring their personal device into the office to work on

So, we have an interesting juncture; IT leaders know less than secure users and devices are planning on coming back to the office. So, what are they to do? The device issue is easy enough to fix; only managed devices should be used (keeping in mind there are solutions that exist that can manage and secure personal devices out there). The employee issue is going to require Security Awareness Training to both educate users on why being vigilant is important, what good cybersecurity hygiene looks like, and how to identify social engineering attacks via email and the web.

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