UK workers ignore rules on secure remote access

Or do they simply have no alternative?

True to the careful, rule-bound stereotype Germans workers appear significantly more likely to follow the security policies demanded by employers for remote working than their French or British equivalents, an Imation survey has found.

On the basis of a sample poll of 1,000 workers in each country, 50 percent of Germans said they always followed company rules for such access compared to just over a third in the UK.

Conversely, only 6 percent of Germans admitted ignoring these rules completely despite being aware of them against almost a fifth in the UK; a quarter in French workers said they weren't even aware what the remote working rules were.

Imation suggested that this confusion of policies might explain why a third of businesses across all three states banned using 'BYOD' personal technology while at work and why 71 percent of French respondents rated the 'consumerisation trend as a concern for IT.

A major issue seems to be the lack of detailed guidance on security policies as much as individual national attitudes with around half of all workers in each country stating that employers had not imposed any remote access rules or had simply not communicated them.

"What is clear is that not enough organisations are providing the right technology and putting in place the right processes to ensure staff are working securely," said Imation Mobile Security's Nick Banks.

"Given the number of employees who admitted to ignoring corporate IT guidelines, as well as the numerous cases of human error being to blame for major security breaches, organisations cannot make secure working 'opt-in'," he argued.

The key was to offer employees tools to manage security more effectively rather than leaving them to their own devices.

Areas of concern include unsecured WiFi which a quarter of UK employees admitted having used for remote access. This compared to 14 percent of French workers and only 8 percent on Germany.

It is hard to tell whether these findings reflect specific attitudes or the investments made in security in each country. UK users might be using insecure WiFi for lack of an alternative as well as being tempted to take the risk because of higher rates of mobile and home working.

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