Price more important than security for smart devices say European homeworkers, putting home and business cyber-safety at risk
68% of European homeworkers don't prioritise security in top three purchase factors
75% of all European businesses take no steps to secure home internet connection or provide software protection for home devices, and over a quarter offer no protection at all, creating gaps for attackers
With sales of smart domestic devices booming, unsecured home workers create lucrative entry points for exploitation by cybercriminals
WATERLOO, ON, Sept. 7, 2022 /CNW/ -- BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) today published new European research exposing the cybersecurity risk created by cost-conscious homeworkers who prioritise security behind price, usability and ease of set up in their purchase of domestic smart devices. Less than a third (32%) of European home workers who own a smart devicei surveyed said security was a top three factor when choosing a smart device, compared to 50% who prioritised price (figure 1). Over a quarter of businesses (28%) aren't putting adequate security provisions in place to extend cyber protection as far as homes (figure 2). This heightens the risk of cyberattacks for businesses and their employees, as hybrid and home working become the norm.
The survey of 4,000 home workers in the UK, France, Germany, and the Netherlands revealed that over a quarter (28%) of people say that their employer has not done or communicated anything about protecting their home network or smart devices, or they don't know if they are protected. Furthermore, 75% of Europeans say their employers have taken no steps to secure home internet connection or provide software protection for home devices. This failure to extend network security to home devices increases risk of the vulnerabilities created by hybrid and home working being successfully exploited. Particularly sobering findings for small and mid-sized businesses who face upwards of eleven cyberattacks per device, per day, according to BlackBerry research.
"An increase in unsecured smart devices in Europe is equally ideal for cyber attackers," said Hans-Peter Bauer, Senior Vice President EMEA, BlackBerry Cybersecurity. "When consumers drop their guard to focus on price, and businesses don't extend their security cover to compensate, cybercriminals will take advantage of any unsecured access point that could lead to lucrative personal and corporate data."
Through even the most innocent of devices, bad actors can access home networks with connections to company devices – or company data on consumer devices – and seize the opportunity to steal data and intellectual property worth millions. It's likely businesses will bear the brunt of cyberattacks caused by unsecured home devices, with knock-on effects to employees themselves. With device security far down the list for fraught buyers trying to cut costs, and employer protection of smart home devices being afforded to few, a huge opening is left for cybercriminals looking to take advantage of the boom in smart devices in the home.
"A global hike in the cost of living, potential recession looming, escalating conflict and rising cyber-insurance premiums are creating perfect conditions for cyberattacks. Cybercrime increased during both the financial crisis of 2008-9 and the COVID-19 pandemic, and we expect to see a similar spike over the coming months," continued Bauer. "These conditions compound the challenge of implementing effective hybrid and home working practices in homes that are getting smarter, but not necessarily more cybersecure. So, it is crucial that organisations remember the devices beyond their immediate reach when they are considering their cybersecurity protection and preparing for challenging economic times ahead."
For more information on how BlackBerry's comprehensive, prevention-first, AI-driven cybersecurity solutions can help your business prepare for, prevent, detect and respond to cyber threats, please visit BlackBerry.com/Cyber.
Notes to editor: Research conducted in June 2022 by Opinion Matters on behalf of BlackBerry (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB), into 4,000 Europeans (in the UK, Germany, France, and the Netherlands) who have worked from home in the last 12 months and have a smart device in their home.
Ease of set-up
Figure 1: Table showing the proportion of respondents who chose each factor in their top three considerations when purchasing a smart device for their home
Mandated use of a corporate Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Established a cybersecurity policy with advice for smart devices/home working
Secured your home internet connection
Installed cybersecurity protection software on home devices
My employer has not done/communicated anything about protecting my home network or smart devices
Figure 2: Table showing the proportion of respondents who said their employer has introduced each measure to protect their home network or smart devices while working from home
Ease of set up
Figure 3: Table showing the proportion of respondents who included these factors among their top three most important when purchasing a smart device, by country
BlackBerry (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) provides intelligent security software and services to enterprises and governments around the world. The company secures more than 500M endpoints including over 215M vehicles. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, the company leverages AI and machine learning to deliver innovative solutions in the areas of cybersecurity, safety and data privacy solutions, and is a leader in the areas of endpoint management, endpoint security, encryption, and embedded systems. BlackBerry's vision is clear - to secure a connected future you can trust.
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i Hereby referred to as 'home workers'
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SOURCE BlackBerry Limited
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