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Here at Noble, we’re a business on a mission to help rid the world of cyber-crime. That means we naturally spend a lot of time (pretty much all our time, in fact) thinking about cyber-security and the impact it has on the people around us.But we know that not everyone thinks about cyber-security in the same way. And, given that it’s more important than ever for the topic to be front of mind, we wanted to delve deeper into how sensitive people are to today’s security threats.So that’s exactly what we did.

We asked more than 100 IT professionals from a range of different industries about their attitudes towards online security and their perceptions of security in the workplace. Here’s what we found.

Work-life crossover

Our first set of questions looked at the balance between work and personal activity online. More than three-quarters (77%) of respondents admitted that they have used public wi-fi for work-related activity, which isn’t surprising given the prevalence of mobile working. It does, however, present some obvious security risks as employees hop between unsecured public networks. What’s more, more than a third (36%) of respondents said they ‘often’ use their work computer for personal purposes, while 31% answered ‘sometimes.’ Just 9% of respondents said they never complete personal tasks on their work device.

Browsing the web (75%), sending personal emails (62%) and online shopping (44%) were the three most common personal uses of work computers. Interestingly, a reasonably high 41% of people said they use their work computers for online banking – possibly because they are more likely to have security software installed than their personal devices.

This shows that people are generally willing to blur the lines between personal and work activities, even though they run the risk of introducing cyber-threats into corporate networks.

Security at work

The next batch of questions focused on security in the workplace – and there were some encouraging results. For example, 84% of respondents said they would warn their colleagues if they received a suspicious email, while 78% would report it to their IT administrator. However, this means that more than a fifth (22%) of people wouldn’t report a suspicious email to their IT team.

Even more worrying is the finding that 55% of respondents said they haven’t received adequate cyber-security training at work within the last 18 months, an area businesses simply can’t afford to be neglecting with today’s threat landscape in mind.

Finally, we found that the majority of respondents are worried about the organisation’s security. 59% are concerned about cyber-security in the workplace, with 36% being ‘slightly concerned’ and 23% being ‘very concerned.’ A relatively high percentage (37%) said they are ‘not very concerned’ about security, while just 4% are ‘not at all concerned.’

These findings show that businesses still have plenty of work to do when it comes to training their employees about cyber-security. In today’s threat landscape where cyber-criminals are constantly becoming more sophisticated, the onus is on businesses to be proactive and educate their employees in order to stay secure in the fight against cyber-criminals.

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