Employees Working From Home Lack Security Tools and Training

Employers and their workforces quickly switched to work-from-home mode when COVID-19 began sweeping the country earlier this year. And as the pandemic continues, more than half of the U.S. employed population is still working remotely.

And yet, too many companies large and small have not made sure that their remote workers are using secure measures to safeguard business data and personally identifiable information (PII). In many cases, even remote workers engaged in customer support are using their personal laptops and unsecured connections to handle clients’ PII. Those are among the startling findings in the new “IBM Security Work From Home Survey,” conducted by Morning Consult, which interviewed more than 2,000 U.S. adults who began working from home in response to the pandemic.

To help businesses assess their work-from-home data risk and assist in their design of secure connections and procedures, IBM X-Force Red—an IBM team of veteran hackers—has expanded its security testing practice.

X-Force Red will work with companies to help secure systems that risk exposing intellectual property and client and employee data. The team will also help test remote collaboration tools and review videoconference policies and practices, file-sharing controls and default settings.

“Work from home is going to be a long-lasting reality within many organizations,’’ said Charles Henderson, Global Partner and Head of IBM X-Force Red. “The security assumptions we once relied on in our traditional offices are not going to be enough as our workforces transition to new, less controlled surroundings.”

Read the full survey report here.