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Mobile phone use puts two-thirds of workers at risk of a cyber security attack

By Shannon Williams, Tue 2 Nov 2021

More than two thirds of workers are at risk of a cyber security attack, new research has found. 

A recent study by telecommunications provider, TextAnywhere, looked into the screen habits of 1000 employees in the United Kingdom and revealed that more than two-thirds, some 67.4%, are using their mobiles for work, imposing a serious threat to business security.

According to TextAnywhere, businesses need to ensure they work hard to educate their employees around safe practices when accessing platforms via mobile. 

"Third-party applications and unsecured WIFI can be easy gateways for cybercriminals to access sensitive information via business emails or chat messages," it says.

According to Carbon Black reports, 88% of companies in the United Kingdom suffered security breaches last year.

"Most businesses and industries are now reliant on technology and because of this, the impacts of a cyber attack are more harmful than ever," says Raphael Waller, Cardonet, an IT service provider.

"Cybercrime has become a key focus for criminals because the financial gain is so high when holding organisations to ransom," he says.

Regular cybersecurity training is vital in helping your team better understand how they can protect the organisation from threats and what they can do to be more alert. Keeping organisations safe is something that everyone has a role to play in, no longer just IT or Security.

James Bosley, marketing manager at TextAnywhere adds, "Today almost everyone uses a smartphone in their day to day life, both for work and personal use. 

"They help to keep us connected at all times, but arguably, more could be done by business leaders to ensure safe and secure practice," he says.

Bosley says the past 18 months have presented multiple challenges. 

"As employees return to the office, it's important that healthy business communication is established and all staff feel supported," he says.

"Business should prioritise ensuring all employees are aware of the remote access policies, procedure and best practice - the most effective way to do this is through the device they are using most, their phone."

Bosley says working from home has increased the likelihood of cyber attacks but has improved work-life balance for many and increased productivity in businesses that don't rely on central office space. 

"With effective employee communication and training, organisations can substantially reduce the risk of cyber-attacks while building a healthy and effective remote culture."

The research also found the majority of employees have checked their emails while on annual leave, with 66% confessing to this. One in five employees said they ‘always’ check their emails while on annual leave, compared to 34% who said they never do.

This doesn’t come as a surprise since the survey also showed 73% of employees are contacted by their line manager or colleague about work when they are on annual leave.

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