Opening the gates for more cyber-attacks?

Posted On 08 Feb 2014
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The Internet, cloud servers and the easy access to broadband have given workers the opportunity to perform their duties even when they are not at their desks. However, accessing a server remotely means that there is no firewall to stop potential cybercrimes. According to a survey carried out by TalkTalk Business, 82 per cent of small business employees use work time for personal matters, over a third of them for more than two hours a day. TalkTalk Business surveyed 1,000 small business employees with over 70 per cent admitting taking work home on evenings and weekends, clocking up an average of 1.7 hours each day. With business commitments creeping into personal time, the vast majority of employees (82 per cent) are redressing the balance themselves by also catering to personal needs at work. Given that less than half of respondents feel they can spot obvious scams, this blurring of work and personal life has the potential to cause security headaches. Modern scams are extremely complex, and men appear less confident in their ability to identify them than women: 40 per cent of men say they’re easily able to recognise threats online, compared to 50 per cent of women. Somewhat ironically, employees in IT and telecoms are the least confident in their ability to spot risky content. This could be because they are often technically-trained and understand the complexity of modern viruses, therefore are less likely to underestimate them. Checking the news, shopping online and ‘life admin'” tasks like booking travel or online banking” are the most common activities done on a work computer. While some respondents acknowledge the threat these actions could pose, the majority seem unaware: just under a third, 32 per cent, said shopping online while at work may be risky to the business, and only a quarter believe streaming music or video poses a danger to the company. ” The traditional 9-5 is a fallacy”, says Charles Bligh, Managing Director of TalkTalk Business.” For many people, work no longer ends at the office door, it continues on the train home or after picking up the kids from school. ” That flexibility has to work both ways. It isn’t surprising to see people catering to their own personal needs in office hours, but security solutions need to evolve to reflect that change of behaviour. Malicious content is getting more advanced and harder to spot” we only need to look at recent malware targeting the NHS or Yahoo! for proof of that.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.