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Staff ignoring rules on which apps to use in the workplace pose threats

Staff ignoring rules on which apps to use in the workplace pose threats

Enterprise SecurityMobile TechnologyTop Stories

Employees are putting their businesses at risk of cyberattacks by refusing to obey the rules when it comes to the apps they use in the workplace, according to Maintel, the cloud and managed services specialist.

Workers have confessed to using unapproved apps in the office, including Instagram, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat, to communicate with colleagues as well as friends and family. For example, four in 10 employees (41%) admit to using Instagram for more than two hours each day, despite the app being banned in almost half of UK organisations.

The majority of employees are well aware that certain apps are not approved for workplace use, but this hasn’t stopped them breaking the rules. In fact, Maintel’s research found that usage is on the rise, with use of WhatsApp, Snapchat and Instagram increasing significantly over the past three years – 30%, 27% and 33% respectively.

Staff told us that apps like WhatsApp offer ease of use (84%), speed of response (44%) and informality (35%) in the workplace. This highlights that businesses need to implement more apps that meet their workers’ needs.

But, while employees may be continuing to break the rules, using these unapproved apps is a danger for many businesses. The risks of using undocumented, unsecure apps should be obvious enough – especially in light of GDPR.

Rufus Grig, CTO at Maintel, said: “If this research tells us one thing, it’s that while organisations can go ahead and prohibit the use of as many tools as they like, this will never be enough to actually make this vision a reality.

“Businesses need to recognise that employees are still using these tools in the knowledge they are unauthorised and make a conscious effort to understand why. Employers need to ensure the communication needs of a multi-generational workforce are catered for. To do this, it’s clear we need to invest more time into making sure that approved tools offer the best user experience possible, or offering platforms that are motivating, compelling and easy to use in the workplace.”

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