The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront the hybrid work model, which transformed workers' homes into branches of the largest companies overnight. The rapid and sudden transition to this work model has brought about quite a few difficulties, among them the great difficulty in maintaining a work environment that is safe and secure from the various cyber threats. In the current era, in which the number of threats to companies is increasing each day, a specialized and advanced security solution is critical for every business. But it seems that these threats, which can significantly influence organizations and companies, and even cause complete shutdown of the business, are not a significant concern of the employees themselves.
According to new research by HP conducted among 8,443 office workers who shifted to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with 1,100 IT decisionmakers from various companies in the U.S., Britain, Canada, Mexico and Germany during March and April of this year, it seems that cyber threats are not considered a significant threat among office workers, and IT teams are fighting the battle alone.
Young office workers consider cybersecurity a waste of time
According to HP's research, about 48% of all office workers, and 64% of young workers aged 18-24, consider the essential security measures to result in a lot of wasted time. The young workers indicated quite a lot of impatience, with a third claiming that they try to circumvent the various security measures as long as they have the ability to do so.
This statistic should raise an alarm, especially in light of the fact that more than half (54%) of the workers aged 18-24 claimed that they place much less importance on information security at their place of work, mainly in cases when maintaining information security comes at the expense of meeting deadlines and being highly productive. Also, 39% of the young workers were unsure what their company's security policies say, suggesting apathy regarding possible cyber threats.
IT teams fighting the battle alone
The research also showed the great difficulty of IT teams in explaining the situation to office workers, with 91% of the IT teams reporting great difficulty in convincing workers to contribute to and cooperate with the required security efforts.
About 78% of them admitted that they took a step back in terms of information security during the COVID-19 era, after an attempt to provide remote workers with suitable security that in the majority of cases (80%) was strongly opposed by the workers, with 69% of the IT teams saying they are made to feel like the "bad guys" for imposing restrictions. The result was that 83% of IT teams believe that they are on borrowed time, and that the next cyber threat is just around the corner, without an immediate and proper response by the organization.
"CISOs are dealing with increasing volume, velocity and severity of attacks," said Joanna Burkey, Chief Information Security Officer at HP. "To create a more collaborative security culture, we must engage and educate employees on the growing cybersecurity risks, while IT teams need to better understand how security impacts workflows and productivity. From here, security needs to be re-evaluated based on the needs of both the business and the hybrid worker."