Tech staff cuts put firms at risk of WFH data cock-ups

TechMore than two-fifths (41%) of companies have admitted that their Covid-19 remote working system is in breach of GDPR, and over a third believe they are at risk of a data breach, yet they are still shedding tech staff left, right and centre.

So says a survey by Censuswide, carried out for private equity firm Leonne International, which covers the UK, US, France and Germany. It reveals that in the UK alone, almost half (49%) of companies have frozen their tech budgets for the foreseeable future in order to save money during the pandemic; 34% admitted to making IT staff redundant or placing them on furlough schemes.

More worryingly, way over a third (38%) actually expect a company data breach to occur during the Covid-19 crisis, due to staff using personal devices which are not properly protected.

Despite these concerns, 37% of companies are aware that members of staff are using an outdated version of the Zoom video conferencing app, which can cause severe security issues. A similar proportion (37%) have allowed members of staff to purchase their own laptops and tablets to work from home, many of which will not be properly protected or connected to company IT servers.

The research points out that IT professionals play an important role in managing the transition to remote working, implementing new software, updating applications, securing data and ensuring home-workers browse the Internet safely, meaning budget cuts and the furloughing of staff have come at a time when IT services will be in high demand.

Absolute Software vice president of the EMEA region Andy Harcup: “It beggars belief that businesses are slashing IT staff at a time when digital skills are so critical for delivering effective remote working systems.

“It’s also worrying that such a high proportion of companies are allowing employees to share confidential company data on personal devices, using outdated apps as well as knowingly operating in breach of GDPR rules.

“With thousands of companies ordering brand new laptops and tablet computers to support remote working, it’s also crucial that companies have the necessary cyber security systems in place to ensure every device using the company network is patched, encrypted and protected from outsider threats.”

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