Most Employees Overestimate their Ability to Work Safely from Home, Study Finds

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Most people are confident they can keep personal identifiable information (PII) secure while working from home. That comes in stark contrast with the fact that more than 50% use their laptops for work, according to a study from IBM Security and Morning Consult. 

Over just a few months, working from home became the norm wherever possible. All of a sudden, millions of people were connecting remotely, starting a new chapter in their work lives. But this revolution came with a heavy security price, and the bill is still due. 

A new study from IBM Security and Morning Consult looked at what’s happening in the work market and unveiled something that everyone was just hoping not to be true. People are brimming with self-confidence regarding their cybersecurity acumen, with 93% thinking that they are perfectly able to keep PII secure while working remotely. 

Unfortunately, that doesn’t track with the rest of the data gathered, as 52% of the people use their laptops for work, which usually don’t have the right tools to secure them. Not to mention that 45% of the work-from-home people received no extra training to deal with the new situation. 

“More than half have yet to be given any new security policies on how to securely work from home, leaving 47% concerned about impending cybersecurity risks,” states the study. 

“More than half have not been provided with new guidelines on how to handle PII while working from home, despite more than 42% newly being required to do so as consumers lean on customer service representatives for a variety of services,” the study continues. 

To be fair, employees didn’t create the problem, as more than half have not been provided with new guidelines on how to handle PII while working from home. Companies only offered 34% of employees with new password management guidelines, and 35% of employees reused passwords for business accounts. 

The security issue becomes even more problematic as 53% of employees are unfamiliar with the security policies around mobile device management, and 83% of were given little to no ability to work from home before the pandemic. 

Furthermore, the computer used for work is connected to the home network in 90% of cases, and 53% of employees use the same laptop for personal and work-related tasks. 

All in all, the study underlines a disparity between the self-imagined cyber efficacy of the employee and the reality. However, the quickest solution for many of the issues would be more training.