A study of remote workers in the West implicates some who have learned to circumvent cybersecurity policies despite security awareness training.

Workers who have had to adapt to remote-working or hybrid work environments have of course had to overcome challenges to balance their work and personal lives.  

In October 2020, a survey of 2,000 remote office workers in the United States, UK, France and Germany unveiled some interesting trends among the targeted groups. 

  • 78% cited experiencing technology issues with connecting to corporate systems and resources as the biggest hurdle 
  • 45% of respondents cited disruption from family and pets as the biggest challenge of remote work, followed by balancing work and personal life (43%) and video conferencing fatigue (34%). 
  • Respondents did recognize the distinct benefits of working from home (WFH), including saving time on commuting (32%), being able run errands (24%) and catching up on household chores between meetings (23%)
  • Some 67% found workarounds to corporate security policies in order to be more productive— including sending work documents to personal email addresses, sharing passwords, and installing rogue applications.
  • Over half (54%) of the respondents said they had received remote-work specific security training, but 69% admitted to using corporate devices for personal matters
  • 57% of those who had received security training allowed 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 Spring
  • 82% were reusing passwords: a 12% increase from the spring.  

Said Matt Cohen, Chief Operating Officer, CyberArk, which commissioned the survey: “Working people have proven incredibly resilient as they rise to the challenge and overcome the stress and significant obstacles of blending home and work lives. As we continue to adapt to this new way of operating, it’s the responsibility of both employees and organizations to take responsibility for 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.”