- Security TWENTY
- Women in Security
Eight out of 10 UK consumers who use a computer, tablet PC or smartphone for work activities feel their online privacy is threatened, but many persist with actions and attitudes that put their privacy and security at risk, according to a survey of 1,000 UK office workers by global non-profit IT association ISACA. ISACA also conducted a separate survey of more than 4,500 of its members from 83 countries, including 980 in Europe. The majority of respondents say that the risk of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) outweighs the benefits, yet year over year, but there has been a 22-point percentage drop in enterprises that prohibit BYOD. With the increasingly blurry line between work and personal devices, behaviours that put privacy and security at risk have the potential to impact enterprises.
Sharing information online is riskier than ever, say one-quarter of the respondents. And only 12pc say they do not think their online privacy is threatened. Yet despite these concerns, UK consumers reported engaging in the following risky behaviour:
• 10pc have clicked on links in email from people they did not know
• 16pc have used the same passwords for work and shopping sites
• 20pc have clicked on links from social media sites
• 23pc have used their work email address for online shopping
• 8pc have lost their work or personal device they used for work
Employees’ online activities pose a special challenge to employers during the holiday season, since 69pc of survey participants plan to shop online during the holiday season of November and December. Of those, 27pc will spend five hours or more shopping on a work device and nearly 10pc will spend 10 hours or more. Additionally, 44pc will spend five hours or more and 16pc will spend 10 hours or more shopping on personal mobile devices also used for work—a practice called “bring your own device” (BYOD).
According to the UK consumer edition of ISACA’s 2012 IT Risk/Reward Barometer, employees who have a work-supplied or BYOD device reported:
• To save 50 percent off a £100 item, 80pc would be willing to reveal personal information; 59pc would give up their email address, 20pc would give up the name of the street they grew up on, 17pc would provide their mother’s maiden name, and 7pc would even be willing to share their current social media password.
• 22pc are more concerned with protecting the security of their personal devices than their work-supplied devices.
• 12pc would be just as inclined to use their personal device for work purposes even if they knew their online activity could be tracked by their employer.
“Using the same password for different sites will make it easier for criminals to hack into your accounts and compromise the data held by the organisation you work for. The more personal details you share about yourself online, the more likely you are to be a victim of social engineering attacks, especially with all of the data aggregators that combine seemingly innocent pieces of data into one comprehensive picture,” said Ramsés Gallego, CISM, CGEIT, CISSP, SCPM, CCSK, security strategist and evangelist at Quest Software -now part of Dell – and ISACA international vice president.
While a quarter (25pc) of respondents feel that sharing information online has become riskier over the past year, 87pc reported engaging in a range of potentially risky actions:
• 80pc do not verify the security settings of online shopping sites.
• 22pc assume their IT department is ensuring that their work-supplied device has the most recent security patches.
• 13pc are not concerned that their personal online activities at work may affect their organization’s IT network.
• 11pc have clicked on a link in an email before confirming its authenticity.
• 9pc used a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Docs for work documents without their company’s knowledge.
“The 2012 IT Risk/Reward Barometer shows that despite considerable concern about their online privacy and security, consumers are simply not willing to give up behaviour that is high-risk and could compromise their own and their employer’s cash, data and reputation,” said Marc Vael, CISA, CISM, CGEIT, CRISC, an international vice president of ISACA. “The survey shows a sizable gap between what people believe they should do and how they actually act. Given that 23pc of employees in the UK now use their own personal devices for work purposes—devices over which the enterprise has limited control—companies need to advocate an embrace-and-educate approach. Embrace the technology, but provide ongoing training about the personal and enterprise risks and how to avoid them.”
ISACA also conducted a separate survey of more than 4,500 of its members from 83 countries, including 159 in the UK. The enterprise will lose £10K or more in lost productivity as a result of an employee shopping online during work hours in November and December, say 29pc percent of those surveyed. Over a third believe that employee will spend on average more than a full work day shopping online during work hours using a personal computer or smartphone, and 27pc estimate they will spend more than a full day shopping from a work-supplied device.
Several of the “unsafe” actions consumers admitted taking were among the most worrisome to ISACA members—for example, storing work passwords on personal devices (77pc say it poses a high risk to the enterprise) and using online file-sharing services like Google Docs or Dropbox for work documents (75pc) were top two actions rated as high risk. In fact two-thirds of organisations prohibit using a file-sharing service for company documents and 40pc prohibit using a personal mobile device for work purposes. The majority (59pc) of respondents say that the risk of BYOD outweighs the benefits, yet year over year there has been a 22-point percentage drop in enterprises who prohibit BYOD (down from 66pc to 44pc).
About the 2012 IT Risk/Reward Barometer
The annual IT Risk/Reward Barometer relates to the risk and reward associated with the blurring boundaries between personal and work devices (BYOD), cloud computing, and increased enterprise risk related to online employee behaviour at peak seasonal times.
The study is based on September 2012 online polling of 4,512 ISACA members from 83 countries, including 159 members in the UK. A separate online survey was fielded among 1,000 UK consumers by OnePoll from 23-25 October 2012. To see the full results, visit www.isaca.org/risk-reward-barometer