Research warns of yet more lax employee mobile security practices

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One in five employees share their work email passwords, while 12% share passwords to other work applications, according to new research data released by identity and access management provider OneLogin.

The study, conducted by Arlington Research of more than 1,000 US-based respondents in May this year, also found one in five workers do not bother with additional security software on their devices, beyond what ships with the operating system, while employees admit to letting their colleagues (13%), partners (9%) and even children (1%) to use a device which connects to their employer’s network.

As ever, these research results need to be taken with a pinch of salt; a company in OneLogin’s position would say these things, after all, but the results do show a degree of laxity in employee behaviour. A study from Intermedia in 2014 found almost 90% of employees could still access applications such as Facebook and Salesforce after they had left their employer. The possibilities, from disgruntled workers to those who are more mischievous than malicious, can be frightening for organisations.

OneLogin recommends three key strategies companies should consider in order to keep their security on point:

  • Use multifactor authentication (MFA) – which is key given 55% of workers access work applications away from the office according to the research
  • Create security policies that do not put too much pressure on employees and give more of an idea of what is being protected; as the researchers put it, “sometimes deploying a drawbridge will get the job done better than a crocodile-filled moat”
  • Make employees aware of how their actions could not only harm the company, but also affect their personal lives

 

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