IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Risky Behavior on Work Devices Rising

Recent research from Netskope finds the blending of the personal and professional worlds is increasing security risks as more remote workers are using corporate devices for nonbusiness use. By Colleen Frye

Hoodies and pajamas have become de rigueur for online meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic, which accelerated the move to remote work. Indeed, according to the August 2020 Cloud and Threat Report from Netskope Threat Labs, there has been a 148% increase in remote workers as a result of the pandemic, with 64% of employees now working from home. However, Netskope’s research finds that the blending of the personal and professional worlds is increasing security risks as more remote workers are using corporate devices for nonbusiness use.

Based on anonymized data collected from the Netskope Security Cloud platform across millions of users from January 1 through June 30, the research reveals that personal use of managed devices has increased by 97%, and use of risky apps and websites has increased by 161%.

Netskope Cloud and Threat Report

The report also finds a 600% increase in the amount of traffic to websites hosting adult content, and that 7% of all users uploaded sensitive corporate data, including protected health information, personally identifiable information, and source code, to personal instances of cloud apps.

Currently, Netskope reports that small businesses (under 500 users) on average are using 562 apps, while medium businesses (500 to 2,000 users) have an average of 863 apps. The daily use of collaboration apps in particular increased 20%, while the amount of activity happening within collaboration apps increased by 80%.

Worth noting as well, however, is that 63% of malware is being delivered over cloud applications, according to Netskope.

Since collaborating with colleagues in pajamas isn’t likely to change soon, channel pros can help their customers implement some of Netskope’s recommendations to bolster security: “strong authentication and access controls, data and threat protection, as well as zero-trust network access to private apps in data centers and public cloud services.”

Image: iStock

About the Author

Colleen Frye's picture

Colleen Frye is ChannelPro's managing editor.

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