Employees Working from Home Ignore Security

By Matthew Harwood

Cisco's annual global study on remote workers' security awareness and online behavior reports remote workers have become lax towards security, according to

The survey suggests that remote workers are more likely to open emails and attachments from unknown or suspicious sources, and to use work computers and devices for personal use.

They are also more likely to hijack wireless internet connections from neighbours, and access work files with non-protected devices.

This news comes as Gartner projects that the number of people who will work one day a week from home will reach 46.6 million by 2011.

Cisco believes that remote workers have become less disciplined concerning security as attacks have moved from the overt to the covert. IT professionals surveyed agreed, with more than 55 percent saying their remote workers have become less security conscious.

"While working at home, people tend to let their guard down more than they do at the office, so adhering to security policies does not always seem applicable or as necessary," said John Stewart, chief security officer at Cisco. "The blurring of the lines between work and home, and between business lives and personal lives, presents a growing challenge for businesses seeking to capitalise on the productivity benefits of the remote workforce."

The study involved a survey of more than 2,000 remote workers and IT professionals from across the world and from across various industries. That way, the survey could "represent a diverse set of social and business cultures, stable and emerging network-dependent economies and varied lengths of Internet adoption," says Cisco.



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