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CyberArk Study: Why Remote Workers Bypass Corporate Security Policies


While many teleworkers believe they’re more productive working at home--as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had demanded--poor security practices may prompt their companies to reconsider the policy once the health crisis abates, a new study said.

Nearly all (95%) of remote workers want to continue working at home but subpar security might cause businesses to question its viability as a long-term strategy, CyberArk, a privileged access management tools provider, said in its newly released State of Remote Work Survey of some 2,000 remote officer workers in the U.S., France, Germany and the U.K.

For the most part, remote workers struggle to balance work and personal lives. Here’s their situation, according to the study:

  • 78% have technology issues with connecting to corporate systems and resources.
  • 45% cite disruption from family and pets followed by balancing work and personal life (43%) and ‘Zoom fatigue’ (34%).
  • Employees also recognize the distinct benefits of remote work, including saving time on commuting (32%), running errands (24%) and catching up on household chores between meetings (23%).

As for remote workers’ security practices and training:

  • 67% dodge corporate security policies to be more productive, including sending work documents to personal email addresses, sharing passwords, and installing rogue applications.
  • 69% use corporate devices for personal use.
  • 57% allow other members of their household to use their corporate devices for activities like schoolwork, gaming and shopping, a 185% increase from a similar survey conducted in last Spring.
  • 82% reuse passwords, 12% more than in CyberArk’s previous report.
  • 54% have received remote work specific security training.

“The global pandemic has been the largest test yet for the future of distributed work,” said Matt Cohen, CyberArk chief operating officer. “As we continue to adapt to this new way of operating, it’s the responsibility of both employees and organizations corporate security. Organizations should continually reinforce best practices and implement user-friendly tools and policies while employees need to understand and be receptive to those policies.”

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.