Woburn, MA — November 16, 2021 — A recent Kaspersky study found that 61% of employees don’t feel isolated while working remotely, and 37% of remote workers alternatively said they manage to communicate even better with their colleagues this way. The extensive use of non-corporate communication services enables better connections but increases the level of risk from unmonitored IT resources.
Kaspersky surveyed 4,303 IT workers from 31 countries to learn how businesses and people have managed to adjust to new work from home restrictions and how the new work formats correlate with employee wellbeing in the long-term. While the majority of employees have successfully transitioned to the digital communications era, a substantial number of respondents couldn’t adopt the remote way of life and still feel isolated (39%) while working at home. Given the fact that loneliness contributes to employee burnout, not less than other demotivating factors like exhaustion and anxiety, this statistic should be a matter of concern for business executives.
One reason for better connections formed with colleagues, reported by more than half of employees, could be the extensive use of non-corporate communication services that have increased according to the survey. Communicating for work purposes via non-corporate email services has risen from 67% to 69%, non-corporate messenger use has risen from 61% to 64%, non-corporate resource planning software from 42% to 45%, web-conferencing platforms from 83% to 86%, and social networks from 67% to 70%.
The challenge is that less formal interaction between colleagues via non-corporate means does not only facilitate the communication and give the feeling of being connected, but it also increases cyber-risks for the company. The so-called ‘shadow IT’ services are not deployed and controlled by corporate IT departments and could be potentially dangerous.
“People usually use additional tools for good reasons, and there is nothing wrong with employees trying to make their work and communications more convenient,” explains Andrey Evdokimov, head of information security at Kaspersky. “Of course, non-corporate services or applications are not necessarily malicious (though this is possible too). Shadow IT solutions don’t let security or IT specialists gain the complete picture of the company’s digital infrastructure. That situation results in increased risk because defenders don't consider unsanctioned tools when developing threat models, data flow diagrams, and planning. IT departments also don't control access to shadow services and employees can compromise valuable corporate information such as by adding new members to an unauthorized work chat or not deleting former coworkers from it. Among other worrying aspects are careless utilization of unpatched apps or wrong privacy settings which lead to data leakage. Moreover, handling personal information via unreliable services causes fines for regulatory requirement violations.”
Kaspersky shares the following recommendations to help businesses enable secure communication opportunities for their employees:
The full report and more advice on employee wellbeing is available here.
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.