Unapproved Apps Used By 32% of Remote Workers

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Roughly one in three (32%) remote and hybrid workers use apps or software not approved by IT, and 92% of remote workers use a personal tablet or smartphone device to do work tasks.

The data comes from the latest report by cloud security company Lookout. It also suggested that 46% of surveyed remote employees saved work files onto their personal devices and 45% used the same passwords for work and personal accounts.

“The rise of remote work has led to more opportunities and flexibility for a great deal of people, but unfortunately, it has also resulted in a massive expansion of the corporate attack surface,” commented Sundaram Lakshmanan, chief technology officer at Lookout.

Read more on remote work security here: Cybersecurity: Trends From 2022 and Predictions For 2023

Further, the Lookout research showed a link between these security issues and others, with 31% of those surveyed admitting being less likely to follow safe security practices when working remotely.

“IT teams don’t have control over the networks from which their employees connect most of the time, which exposes both the users and corporate data to both internal and external threats exponentially,” Lakshmanan explained.

The report shows younger workers are more likely to do remote work, with individuals aged between 18 and 24 accounting for the largest share (57%), followed by those aged 25–34 (45%) and 35–44 (40%).

Another security issue mentioned by Lookout concerns updates, with 8% of remote workers saying their computer was not running the latest version of their OS. The number was slightly higher for mobile devices (9%).

Remote workers are also more targeted by attackers, according to Lookout, due to their potential use of insecure networks and unmanaged devices.

The latest version of Lookout’s The State of Remote Work Security Report is based on responses by 3000 remote and hybrid workers from businesses in the US, UK, France and Germany.

The report comes a couple of months after Check Point released data suggesting the number of cyber-attacks recorded in 2022 was 38% greater than the volume observed in 2021, also thanks to an increase in attack surface due to remote work.

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