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Most SMB employees in fear of identity theft in the workplace
From: Audrey McNeil <audrey () riskbasedsecurity com>
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2014 17:40:04 -0700


The smaller business workplace has transformed into a mobile-enabled,
agile, and satisfying environment, but one where the workforce is acutely
aware and worried about the threat to their personal online information, an
independent study funded by GFI Software has revealed.

A blind survey polled 1,119 respondents who work in organisations with
between two and 99 employees on all aspects of working in small and
medium-sized businesses (SMBs), from job satisfaction and views on
management to the state of small business IT provision and use of social

The study found that a healthy 81% of SMB employees surveyed are satisfied
with their job overall. However, despite the above-average job happiness
levels, the same employees also recorded significant concerns about the
impact online working has on their personal safety and information

Nearly six in 10 respondents (59%) said if they could snap their fingers
and remove all of their personal information from the Internet they would,
citing concerns over identity theft as a primary motive. Overall, 87% of
those surveyed admitted they felt at risk of becoming the victim of
identity theft or another crime while using work computer systems and
devices, which includes 6% who see “a great deal” of risk and 37% who
perceive “some” risk.

Among workers at small businesses that have IT support on staff or on
contract, only 53% said their company had documented policies governing the
use of company-owned IT devices and/or the use of computers in the
workplace. Even more startling, 24% who do have documented policies in
place admitted to violating them, further adding to concerns over IT
security and safety for all employees.

GFI’s study also revealed that, despite many smaller organisations
aggressively adopting the technologies, tools and working practices of
their larger rivals, 75% of those surveyed believe mobile computing has
improved their work/life balance and helped their organsation’s workforce
become more agile, as opposed to 25% who said it has made life more
stressful because it extends the length of the working day and removes the
divide between work and personal time.

Additional findings from the report include:

- Nearly all respondents with employer-owned mobile computing devices said
they use them for things not related to work; 22% said they do so often,
38% sometimes and 30% rarely
- 37% of small business employees surveyed said they use Facebook at least
- 7% admitted they have at some point lost a mobile computing device that
contained company data
- Only 36% of respondents said their employer’s computers are set up to
block them from visiting certain websites.
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