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Most UK Workers Feel More Vulnerable to Data Hacks Than a Year Ago

Two-thirds (65%) of UK workers feel more vulnerable to data hacks than they did a year ago.

According to new research from Citrix, the majority (71%) of respondents cited data theft as “inevitable” at some point. And one in three (33%) 16 to 25-year-olds feel much more vulnerable to hacks, compared with just 15% of over-55s.

“The sheer number of high-profile data breaches in the last 12 months has resulted in workers feeling more vulnerable to hackers than ever before,” said Chris Mayers, chief security architect, Citrix. “This is especially prevalent in younger age groups, who are more likely to have large volumes of important data stored and maintained online.”

While workers clearly feel more at risk of personal data theft than ever before, it seems their approaches to combating this threat are outdated: Two in three respondents (68%) cited physical documentation as a risk and chose shredding as a preferred means of disposing of information, almost a third (30%) of respondents are still reliant on USB memory sticks to back-up important data and just nine percent use the cloud.

“While workers clearly accept their data is at risk, many are still reliant on dated practices—such as using USB sticks and shredding paper documents—to store and protect their information, when more advanced and robust measures are available,” Mayers said.

Some workers even mentioned more curious methods of protecting their data such as “creating confusing personal information” and only “using Linux-based software” – as this operating system is seemingly deemed less vulnerable to attack than others.

The research also revealed some conjecture around the security of digital transactions, specifically online banking, with some workers stating that to secure their data they never bank online, while others only bank online to protect their data.

“Workers also seem skeptical of the cloud in terms of protecting their own files. With companies increasingly turning to cloud services to store information and data, they will need to convince staff that cloud networks are a safe and reliable way to safeguard business-critical data and intellectual property,” Mayers concluded.

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