Cyberattack Risks Being Raised by App Happy Employees

New research released earlier this month suggests that unapproved use of phone apps by employees are raising cyberattack risks.

According to a report posted by the workplace communication company Maintel, four in ten employees (41%) have admitted to using apps such as Instagram in the workplace for more than two hours every day, with other Social Media services mentioned in their findings also.

Whilst workers did say they were aware of what apps are banned from their workplace, many have apparently been continuing to use them, breaking both company policy and raising cyberattack risks in the process.

Social Media Usage at Work

Breaking down the numbers revealed in Maintel’s research, the report highlights that the usage of Social Media apps has risen over the past three years including:

  • WhatsApp by 30%
  • Snapchat by 27%
  • Instagram by 33%

When asked to provide justification and reasoning for using these Social Media apps at work, the most common stance provided was that they offer greater ease of use (84%).

Following this, workers also commented that apps such as these provide a greater speed of response (44%), with others stating that they preferred the informality the apps offered in a formal setting, such as the office often is (35%).

However, using apps such as these pose significant cyberattack risks to businesses, especially in light of the information contained in one of our previous articles which revealed that only half of UK businesses can combat cyberattacks confidently.

Meeting Employee Needs to Avert Cyberattack Risks

Adding his commentary on the research findings, Rufus Grig, CTO at Maintel, explains:

“Businesses need to recognise that employees are still using these tools in the knowledge they are unauthorised and make a conscious effort to understand why. Employers need to ensure the communication needs of a multi-generational workforce are catered for.

To do this, it’s clear we need to invest more time into making sure that approved tools offer the best user experience possible, or in those words, offering platforms that are motivating, compelling and easy to use in the workplace.”

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Sam Rose