Even as businesses and the federal government have made cybersecurity a high priority, Intermedia’s survey found that 93% of office workers engage in some form of unsafe online habits that could jeopardize their employer or their customers.
More surprising, the very people who have the greatest access to company data and are tasked with keeping the company secure—IT personnel—are much more likely to engage in risky behaviors than the average employee:
These kinds of practices create risks that include lost data, regulatory compliance failures, data breaches, eDiscovery complications, ex-employee access, and even out-and-out sabotage by a disgruntled current or former employee.
Intermedia’s report also includes data across a range of industries, such as healthcare, finance and legal services, as well as across job functions. Additionally, it examines security habits across age group, company size and job tenure.
Within these categories, a few of the additional insights highlighted within the full report include:
Intermedia’s report offers businesses a better understanding of the scope of the insider threat problem. 97% of respondents have access to sensitive or confidential company information, which means it’s imperative for companies to offer IT tools that make it simple for users to adhere to company security policies.
“I’m particularly worried about ex-employee access. What kind of access do employees walk away with when they leave? If they go to a competitor, what kind of damage can they do? People usually delete stuff when they leave, which is bad enough—but it’s really bad when they can come back a few months later and wreak havoc. Especially if it’s IT people with that access. That bothers me the most.”
- Felix Yanko, President, ServNet
“It’s nearly always that technical people are the worst offenders. They know how to get around various controls that an IT team will put in place. It’s sometimes done with the best intent, but nevertheless with a complete lack of consideration for the risk or security implications.”
- Richard Walters, VP of Identity & Access Management, Intermedia
“Security policies are most effective when employees don’t even have to think about them. That’s why it’s so important to provide tools that make it easier to follow the rules, like single sign-on portals or enterprise-class file sharing. The simpler it is for employees to be productive using company sanctioned tools, the more likely you are to deter the kinds of practices that put the company at risk.”
- Jonathan Levine, CTO, Intermedia
This study was commissioned by Intermedia and delivered by Precision Sample®, an independent market research organization. Precision Sample has an active proprietary panel of over 3.5M respondents that is routinely validated with a stringent screening process including Verity® and RelevantID by Imperium®. Results derived from a 10-minute online survey instrument with 34 total questions, fielded August 4-6, 2015. Setup questions were used to ensure that only office workers were in the sample, which was defined as those who use a computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet in their day-to-day work. Overall margin of error of +/- 2.17% at a 95% confidence interval.
Intermedia is a one-stop shop for cloud business applications. Its Office in the Cloud™ integrates email, voice, file sync and share, security and many other essential IT services—and supports customers and partners with a Worry-free Experience™. For more information, visit Intermedia.net.