Member Article

More than half of financial service professionals neglect safe data practices when working from home during Covid-19

56 per cent of financial services professionals are less likely to follow safe data practices and 61 per cent feel they can ‘get away’ with riskier behaviour when working remotely, according to new research from Tessian, the Human Layer Security company. The State of Data Loss Prevention report reveals findings from a global survey of over 300 professionals working in accountancy, banking and finance.

The top reason for cutting security corners when working from home was because they feel they aren’t being watched by IT teams (33 per cent), closely followed by the fact they aren’t working from their usual devices (31 per cent).

While businesses put measures in place to protect against unsafe data practices, almost two-thirds of workers in the financial services sector (64 per cent) said they will find a workaround if security solutions or company policies prevent them from getting their job done. It’s worrying, then, that 68 per cent said their company’s security solutions impede their productivity.

Financial services professionals are aware of the ramifications that unsafe data practices could have on their organisation. 81 per cent of respondents cited ‘damaged company reputation’ as the biggest consequence of a data breach, followed by loss of customer trust (55 per cent). Nearly half (48 per cent) also said regulatory fines would significantly impact their company following a data breach.

Despite this, 91 per cent of financial services professionals in the U.S. say they send company data to their personal email accounts one or more times per month - compared to only 43 per cent of those in the UK. In addition, 47 per cent of finance workers said they take company data with them when they leave an organisation.

“The disruption caused by Covid-19 has made data loss prevention for financial firms even more challenging as the majority of employees admit to riskier cybersecurity practices when working remotely. But failure to address the problem, and your valuable company, customer and employee data could be exposed and your business faces significant reputational and financial damage,” commented Tim Sadler, CEO, Tessian.

“In the new world of remote working, financial institutions must adopt a people-first approach to security. Remind employees of company policies around data exfiltration and continually educate staff on the risks their actions pose to data security. IT leaders must also adopt solutions that provide greater visibility into employee behaviour, in order to prevent actions that result in breaches and non-compliance. But remember, these solutions cannot impede employee productivity. We’ve shown people will find workarounds if security stops them from getting their jobs done, so data loss prevention has to be flexible if it’s going to be effective.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Nick Till .

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