CXO

Do remote workers increase your chance of a data breach? 86% of CXOs say yes

Off-site employees are more prone to data breaches, says Shred-it's State of the Industry Report.

The majority of C-Suite executives and small business owners (SBOs) agree cyber security risks increase with remote workers, according to Shred-it's State of the Industry Report, released Wednesday. Shred-it's report unveils information security risks currently threatening businesses and features survey results conducted by Ipsos.

When studying the cause of cybersecurity breaches, 47% of CXOs and 42% of SBOs cited accidental loss or employee negligence as the top reason, according to the report.

"The study's findings clearly show that seemingly small habits can pose great security risk and add up to large financial, reputational and legal risks," said Shred-it vice president Monu Kalsi in the press release. The findings led many companies to plan information security trainings at the office to better protect employee networks.

SEE: How to make your telecommuting program a success (Tech Pro Research)

However, the report found, 86% of business executives agreed data breaches are more likely to occur when employees are working out of office. While CXOs do have security plans in place for these occurrences, only 35% of SBOs currently have a policy for storing or deleting confidential data remotely, and 54% of SBOs have no policy whatsoever, said the report.

Respondents do have recommendations on how to keep information safe while employees are working off-site, which many CXOs are already teaching employees. In the report, the highest voted best practices were:

    1. Keep sensitive data out-of-sight in public spaces
    2. Be careful sharing devices with friends or family
    3. Place company-issued devices away from children and pets
    4. Be wary on public Wi-Fi
    5. Immediately report a lost or stolen electronic device

    With the number of remote employees increasing in most industries, especially in tech, CXOs should be aware of the security risks associated with off-site work.

    There are other issues with working remotely. Check out our article on five hidden downsides to working from home that no one talks about.

    Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
    • C-Suite executives (47%) and small business owners (42%) list employee negligence or accidental loss as the top reason for data breaches. — Shredit, 2018
    • While 86% of executives agree data breaches are more likely to occur with remote workers, only 35% of small business owners have a plan for keeping information secure off-site. — Shredit, 2018

    Also see

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    Image: iStockphoto/monkeybusinessimages

    About Macy Bayern

    Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.

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