Could this be an opportunity for brokers and insurers to work with clients to push cyber security further up employees’ agendas?

By Jon Guy 

Jon Guy

Jon Guy

UK businesses have been warned that their staff work far better before lunch, at least when it comes to cyber security.

As the UK gets set to host the world’s first summit on the safety and risks around the use of artificial intelligence, it seems that no matter where staff work, be it in the office, hybrid or remote, they will switch off around cyber security depending on the time of day.

Security awareness firm KnowBe4 published its report this morning (1 November 2023), which looked into the security attitudes and behaviours of over 6,000 full-time workers in the UK. 

Of these surveyed workers, there were 2,007 staff working from a remote location, 2,006 employees working in a hybrid fashion and 2,003 working from the office full-time.

KnowBe4’s report found that staff, wherever they were working, were more likely to make security-conscious decisions before lunch, as opposed to afterwards.

Concerningly, just over a fifth (21%) of full-time office workers did not feel responsible for their company’s cybersecurity, compared to one in seven (14%) remote or hybrid workers.

While the majority of workers do take some pride in their organisations’ cybersecurity, the behaviour they display seemingly paints a different story.

Stressed and distracted

Almost two in five (39%) surveyed workers who had previously clicked a link they shouldn’t have said they were distracted at the time. Over a third (35%) said they were feeling stressed.

While each cohort of workers tended to experience slightly different distractions during their regular workday – whether that be unnecessary meetings or hunger and snack breaks – they were all unanimous in branding phone notifications and calls as the biggest.

39% of remote workers and 45% of hybrid and in-office workers said this was the most significant distraction.

The debate over the haste at which companies moved to a hybrid or remote system of working continues.

Many businesses are looking to bring their staff back into the workplace, but are meeting resistance from staff who have settled into to the groove of working from home all, or for part of the, week.

One of the biggest concerns from companies’ perspectives has been the inability to monitor the level of security that an employee’s home systems possess, compared to firewalls in-office.

The fact that staff increasingly admit they are switching off when it comes to cyber security after lunch will do little to calm those concerns.

Could this be an opportunity for brokers and insurers to work with clients to push cyber security further up employees’ agendas?

It is clear that there is a significant issue and the use of AI to mount ever more sophisticate cyber-attacks will only make matters worse.