Home workers are the
weakest link


15 Apr 2005

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Irish home workers are at best ambivalent about security when working from home with nearly two thirds stating they do not take any security precautions, according to an independent study by software firm Novell.

Novell commissioned research firm Performance Marketing to survey 350 home workers in Dublin, Limerick and Cork, to gauge their habits and views. The study finds that while businesses are making IT security a top priority, home workers are much less concerned about the issue. This makes them one of the main points of entry for computer viruses and hackers.

According to the research, workers are lulled into a false sense of security in the home and often don’t appreciate the risk they pose. Home workers are far more likely to ignore standard IT security procedures, surf the net and download viruses on to their PCs.

Kevin McAteer, business development director of Novell Ireland commented: “The number of people working from home or from a remote office is growing all the time. The benefits of having a more flexible workforce are clear, but the dangers are sometimes less obvious. As the number of home workers grows, so does the number of security risks to businesses. Security just isn’t top of home workers’ agendas. The only way to protect against this growing type of security threat is to take the responsibility off home workers.”

He added: “Successful home and remote working is absolutely achievable. If bosses feel comfortable that their employees aren’t opening the door to IT security threats from their living room, workers will be one step closer to the benefits of flexible working.”

By Brian Skelly