British workers ignore IT, download unapproved apps and watch porn

A new report commissioned by Blue Coat and carried out by Vanson Bourne finds that Britons continue to take cyber-security risks and ignore IT policy to download apps, open emails from unknown senders and even view adult content at work.

The report, which takes in the views of 1580 employees across 11 countries, finds that one in three UK employees has downloaded apps without IT approval, even though two-thirds of these (66 percent – more than 300) knew that it was wrong.

In addition, it found that one in five UK employees opens email attachments from people they don't know, despite 78 percent of these acknowledging it's a risk to business, and that nine percent of respondents have viewed adult content on work devices. On this last point, the UK ranks highest in Europe, higher than France (five percent), Germany (two percent) and the global average (six percent).

“The dichotomy between the awareness and actions of the employees found in this research should trouble businesses all over the world. While IT professionals seek to prevent cyber-attacks occurring, their colleagues' behaviour is jeopardising employers' cyber-security and ultimately their jobs,” said Robert Arandjelovic, director of products for Blue Coat, EMEA. 

“The consumerisation of IT and social media carries mixed blessings to enterprises. It is no longer feasible to prevent employees from using them, so businesses need to find ways to support these technology choices while simultaneously mitigating the security risks,” he said.