'Risky' remote workers fuel security spending

An international Cisco survey reveals 62 percent of IT decision makers plan to increase spending to mitigate the risks posed by remote workers
Written by Natasha Lomas, Contributor

Concern over "risky" remote workers is fuelling security spending.

Almost two-thirds (62 percent) of IT decision makers surveyed by networking giant Cisco in an annual poll into remote working said they are planning to increase security spending this year to mitigate risks associated with employees who work outside the office.

More than one-third (37 percent) said they intend to hike spending by more than 10 percent on 2007's budget.

While businesses undoubtedly see benefits from allowing remote working, such as increased productivity and better rates of staff retention, Cisco said there is also a financial burden when it comes to ensuring remote staff do not compromise corporate security.

Risks associated with remote workers include opening suspicious emails, piggybacking on unsecured wireless networks and sharing corporate devices with non-employees.

Educating staff is vital to minimising the costs associated with remote working, according to Cisco. John N Stewart, chief security officer at the company, said in a statement: "Increasing employee awareness through sustained education reduces threats, attacks and the painful price tags they typically carry."

The research also found security concerns about remote workers are most acute in the Bric countries of Brazil, China and India. Eighty-three percent of respondents in China and India, and 68 percent in Brazil, said security spending will rise this year.

The survey polled 2,000 IT professionals in various industries in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US.

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