One in ten Irish workers would not report malware to boss, survey finds

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A survey of more than 500 Irish workers has found that more than one in ten (12pc) employees would not immediately inform their employer of a malware detected on their work device.

The Censuswide survey commissioned by Dublin-based IT company Auxilion in June and published yesterday (14 October) also found that almost a third of workers have clicked on an email link or attachment from an unknown source.

The report highlights the cybersecurity challenges faced by the Irish workforce working from home or in a hybrid set-up during the pandemic. Earlier this year, another Auxilion survey found that remote collaboration issues could cost Irish firms €3.3bn a year.

While 82pc of respondents said they were confident in their ability to identify phishing attempts, more than a third (37pc) cited suspicious emails as their top security concern while working remotely.

This was followed by using home Wi-Fi (30pc) and hackers accessing webcams (29pc) taking the second and third spots in the list of concerns. The incidence of scam calls and lack of in-person tech support were also among the top five concerns of Irish workers.

‘Overreliance on email’

Auxilion CTO Donal Sullivan said that the pandemic has prompted people to come up with new ways of communicating and collaborating while spread across distant locations.

“This has created an overreliance on email which, while understandable, is actually stifling innovation, productivity and collaboration,” he said.

More than half (55pc) of respondents said that they were suspicious of sharing sensitive information on video calling platforms, while one in five (21pc) were concerned about using personal devices for work.

On the flip side, almost one in four (23pc) Irish workers use video platform accounts provided by work to socialise with family and friends. A quarter of respondents also use the same password for work and personal accounts – exposing them to risk.

“There are inherent security risks associated with email communications and it is evident that not only are Irish office workers concerned, they are vulnerable to cyber threats,” Sullivan added.

“In fact, our research shows that both employees and organisations need to raise the game when it comes to security, control and governance.”

Irish workers are, however, optimistic about the security measures at their workplace, with 83pc noting their protection levels as adequate. More than eight in ten employees also trust their organisations to securely protect confidential data.

Sullivan said that business leaders need to make sure they have the right tools and processes in place which can enable people to do their jobs while safeguarding data and systems.

“This includes adequate training and awareness as well, coupled with an openness to flag issues and be transparent if a breach occurs. Failing to take these steps could prove very costly, both financially and reputationally.”

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