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70% of US Employees Lack Security and Privacy Awareness

Posted by on 1:55 pm in Dark Reading, Newsletter | 0 comments

Acceptable use of social media and adherence to workplace physical security drops, new survey shows. The majority of US workers fall short when it comes to strong knowledge of security and privacy best practices, potentially putting their companies at risk of a breach, according to a new report. The 2017 State of Privacy and Security Awareness Report, which surveyed 1,012 US workers, found that 70% of employees lack a firm grasp of security and privacy. Overall, that’s an improvement from last year, when the number was at 88%. “I think things, in general, are getting better,” says Tom Pendergast, chief strategist for security, privacy, and compliance for MediaPro, which conducted the study. The survey results were drawn from 31 questions asked across eight categories of threat vectors. Survey participants were ranked as “risk,” “novice,” or “hero,” depending on the number of incorrect answers they provided. According to the survey, the percentage of “risk” employees grew to 19% this year from 16% last year, while the ranks of “novice” workers shrank to 51% this year from 72% last year. Employees in the “hero” category reaching 30% this year, up from 12% last year. Threat Vectors               Source: MediaPro “Both years, ‘risky’ individuals got caught up in two key areas: physical security, and safe remote and mobile computing,” Pendergast says.   In physical security, over half of the “risky” respondents chose to hold the door open for a stranger, without first checking to see if the individual had the proper identification or access to a secured area, he explained. Additionally, 62.3% of “risky” respondents this year thought it was okay to use a public Wi-Fi network to access company information, which was up from 45% last year. Acceptable social media use and physical security suffered in this latest MediaPro survey. Respondents willing to take potentially risky actions on their social media accounts that posed a risk to their companies reached 20% this year, compared to 14% last year. When queried whether they would be willing to post information about their company’s upcoming yet undisclosed product release information on their social media account, more than 20% of the survey respondents answered affirmatively this year, compared to 7.5% last year. Pendergast says he wished he knew why security awareness around social media accounts declined this year. In addition to social media, physical security also took a hit this year. The survey found that nearly a quarter of employees surveyed were willing to take potentially risky actions in favor of controlling access to their company’s facility. For example, 20% of survey respondents indicated they would be willing to hold an office door open if someone asked to enter, even if they lacked proper identification. The percentage of survey respondents who lacked a firm grasp on physical security grew to 24% this year, compared to 19% last year. “This is one where everyone knows they need to lock the door to their home at the end of the day, but why not carry this attitude to work?” Pendergast says. “They’re not protecting their company’s front door and that is a little surprising.” Companies like Microsoft and Boeing, he says, have a corporate culture where employees feel comfortable asking strangers whether they work at the organization if their company badge is not...

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The digital workplace: 8 steps to greater agility, productivity

Posted by on 10:00 am in CIO, Newsletter | 0 comments

True digital transformation goes all the way through to the core. And that includes an often overlooked aspect: the workplace itself. Yes, modernizing IT systems, overhauling business processes and stacking talent benches are crucial undertakings. But such initiatives lay bare a chicken-and-egg problem that many CIOs must scramble to address: that a good customer experience first requires a good employee experience in the form of a digital workplace, says Gartner analyst Carol Rozwell. What is the digital workplace? It is a business strategy aimed at boosting employee engagement and agility through consumerization of the work environment, Rozwell says. Think of your one-size-fits-all-users ERP or expense management applications and imagine the opposite user experience. Your digital workplace should help individuals and teams work more productively without compromising operations. It should include computers, mobile devices and productivity and collaboration applications that are web-based and synch in real time. Such tools should, for example, mimic the ease of use of Uber and Airbnb and the social aspects of Facebook and Instagram. IBM, for one, has undertaken a massive transformation of its workplace to lure new tech talent. “The idea of the digital workplace is to bring that same simplicity and intuitiveness to employees when they’re doing their mission-critical work,” Rozwell says. Maybe you’ve heard your CIO peers talk about “getting ahead of shadow IT”? They mean facilitating, rather than prohibiting, consumerization. Following is an eight-point plan for transformation your work environment into a digital workplace, which Rozwell recently shared with 1. Vision Your digital workplace plan should align with business and digital transformation goals — and clearly answer why you want to overhaul your work environment. Remember, your goal is to increase employee engagement and productivity. Work closely with stakeholders, including business, HR and facilities managers, to shape the plan and execute changes, bearing in mind the workplace demographics and potential impact those changes will have. How will these efforts change business processes? Don’t make and execute on technology platform decisions until you achieve clarity and agreement on the digital workplace’s purpose and objectives. This will consume significant budget, so remember to get buy-in from the rest of the C-suite and board of directors. 2. Strategy Next, establish a roadmap and blueprint for coordinating digital workplace initiatives across R&D, marketing, sales, customer support, manufacturing, HR and IT. Questions to ask: How will you exploit various technologies to raise employee engagement levels and support your company’s digital initiatives? How can you create workspaces that increase employee creativity and enable ad hoc and formal opportunities for collaboration? Be sure to do your homework, as this requires a clear understanding of how people work and what improvements are envisioned. 3. Metrics Use analytics to calculate IT, HR and business metrics and create a digital scorecard. For example, you can gauge user engagement to tracking daily active users and time spent in collaboration software such as Slack. Try to quantify positive impacts on workforce effectiveness, employee agility and employee satisfaction and retention, information you can use later to assess change management and refine your approach. Digital business metrics are among the hardest to calculate but they are essential to gauging the value of your investments. “These metrics help process owners to articulate the potential return on investment to senior management, and prevent technology investments from...

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