A recent Kaspersky survey found that 6 out of 10 employees (61%) do not feel isolated when working remotely, with 37% of teleworkers managing to communicate even better with their colleagues in this way. The extensive use of non-corporate communication services allows for better connections, but increases the level of risk from IT resources that are not watched.
During 2020, people and organizations underwent many changes. The epidemiological situation and the subsequent lockdown restrictions around the world have seriously affected the communication of people’s private and professional lives. The new conditions created different challenges and social isolation combined with a lack of communication with colleagues – these were among the problems that teleworkers discussed more.
Kaspersky surveyed 4,303 IT workers from 31 countries to find out how businesses and people have managed to adapt to the new reality and how new forms of work correlate with the well-being of workers in the long run. While the majority of employees have successfully transitioned to the era of digital communications, a significant number of respondents could not adopt the remote lifestyle and still feel isolated (39%) while working from home. Given the fact that loneliness contributes to the burnout of employees, no less than other deterrents such as exhaustion and stress, this statistic should worry business executives.
One reason for better connections with colleagues, as reported by more than half of employees, could be the extensive use of non-corporate communication services that have increased. Communication for work purposes through non-corporate email services has increased from 67% to 69%, non-corporate use of messenger has increased from 61% to 64%, non-enterprise resource programming software from 42% to 45%, web-conferencing platforms from 83% to 86%, and social networks from 67% to 70%.
The problem is that the less formal interaction between colleagues through non-corporate means facilitates communication and gives the feeling that they are connected, but on the other hand increases cyber risks for the company. The so-called “shadow IT” services are not developed or controlled by corporate IT departments and could be potentially dangerous.
“People usually use additional tools for good reasons. And there’s nothing wrong with workers trying to make their work and their communications more convenient. Of course, non-corporate services or applications are not necessarily malicious (although this is also possible). “Shadow IT” solutions do not let security or IT experts get the full picture of the company’s digital infrastructure. This situation leads to increased risk, because experts do not take into account unapproved tools when developing threat models, data flow charts, and programming. Also, IT departments do not control access to “shadow IT” services, and employees can compromise valuable corporate information, such as adding new members to an unauthorized work chat or not deleting former colleagues from it.Among other worrying aspects is the careless use of incorrect applications or privacy settings that lead to data leakage. In addition, handling personal information through unreliable services carries fines for violations of regulatory requirements,” explains Andrey Evdokimov, Kaspersky’s Chief Intelligence Officer.