According to new research from Kaspersky, 24% of employees in the U.S. have previously had a dispute with IT staff about the importance or frequency of updating their work devices. Surprisingly, IT teams tend to agree with such demands allowing 72% of staff to skip installing updates on certain software or OS at all.

Software updates not only bring new functionality and fix bugs, but also address security vulnerabilities that malefactors are aware of. That is why patch management is essential for corporate security. However, some staff members are reluctant to update their work devices, meaning that there are vulnerable computers, laptops and smartphones on the corporate network.

Despite IT department efforts, these disagreements bring about the desired results for employees. Employees who request to skip updates or choose what to update may request these options as they feel the time spent updating their devices may affect their productivity.

Nearly half (42%) of respondents are actually distracted from work because of updates, saying they typically take a break from the work they were doing, while just 6% just wait patiently at their desk. Difficulties don’t end at the installation stage, as 42% of employees agree that learning new versions of software is a waste of time that could be spent doing their job.

Overall, 44% of respondents stated that they are less concerned about updating their work devices than personal ones, suggesting that keeping work devices up to date is an insignificant consideration.

“We recommend employees regularly update their devices. It will not only keep them protected, but each update takes just a few minutes,” ’ said Elena Molchanova, head of business development for Kaspersky security awareness training. “This short downtime can be used to recharge body and mind without causing any added harm to business networks and processes.”

To help IT staff to encourage employees to regularly install updates, Kaspersky recommends:

  • Preparing instructions or video lessons on how to use the updated software. Provide contacts for people who employees can reach out to in case of any issues
  • Informing staff about the importance of timely updates and what can go wrong with their data and the company’s assets if cybercriminals exploit unpatched security issues
  • Warning employees that if they put off updates for a long time, their devices can install them automatically and restart their devices when they are busy with urgent tasks
  • Implementing a security awareness course that covers this topic, such as Kaspersky Automated Security Awareness Platform
  • Downloading and sharing the Kaspersky cheat sheet with exercises that help with ‘tech neck’
  • For critical IT or operational technology systems, it is important to always be protected regardless of delayed updates. This means systems should only perform predetermined activity. KasperskyOS supports this concept of Cyber Immunity and it can be used to build IT systems that are secure by design.

To read the full report, please visit the link.

About the survey

In April 2021, Kaspersky commissioned Savanta to conduct an online survey of 15,000 respondents to explore people’s device update tendencies. The sample included 1,000 respondents from each of the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain; and 500 from each of the USA, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Romania, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, China, India, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Russia. All respondents used a PC, smartphone and/or tablet for either their personal or work lives, and 76% of the respondents were currently employed.

About Kaspersky

Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at usa.kaspersky.com.

Kaspersky finds 72% of employees who argued with the IT department about updates were allowed to use their current versions

According to new research from Kaspersky, 24% of employees in the U.S. have previously had a dispute with IT staff about the importance or frequency of updating their work devices.
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