Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Endpoint

12/16/2020
02:00 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Senior Managers Twice as Likely to Share Work Devices With Outsiders

New survey finds top C-suite managers are much shakier on security than their junior counterparts.

New research has found that senior management tends to exhibit much more lax security practices with their devices than younger staff.

In fact, senior managers (42%) were twice as likely to share a work device with someone outside the organization than their junior counterparts (20%), according to OneLogin. 

Related Content:

The Real Reasons Why the C-Suite Isn't Complying with Security

Building an Effective Cybersecurity Incident Response Team

New From The Edge: Why Secure Email Gateways Rewrite Links (and Why They Shouldn't)

In addition, 19% of senior managers admitted to sharing confidential passwords with a family member versus only 7% of junior employees. Senior management also reported working from public Wi-Fi networks at double the rate of their junior counterparts (30% vs. 15%).  

The survey, says OneLogin CEO Brad Brooks, was based on responses from 2,000 US and UK remote workers from the ages of 16 to 55-plus.

"Much of this is a product of your formative years," Brooks says. "Older managers did not grow up with PCs, an iPad, and smartphones. I just think overall the younger generation are more aware of the security risks." 

The survey's findings also suggest American workers are less security-focused than their UK counterparts, he says. Remote workers in the US shared devices 7% more than their UK counterparts, worked on public Wi-Fi at a 9% higher rate, and downloaded personal applications at an 8% higher rate.

"With the GDPR regulations, the Europeans are much more sophisticated when it comes to security and privacy," Brooks says. "Plus, because many of the brands they use in Europe are American and they don't have any nationalistic sentiment toward the brands, they are a bit more aware of the risks and skeptical. "

OneLogin's survey also syncs with a survey MobileIron (recently acquired by Ivanti) did earlier this year in which 76% of the C-suite admit to bypassing company security protocols, often because they are complicated or misunderstood.

Many factors contributed to C-suite reticence to adhering to security protocols, says Russ Mohr, engineering director at Ivanti. Many appeared to be driven by the expediency required for executives to perform at a top level. For example, 47% percent of the C-suite reported asking IT to let unsupported or unmanaged devices access corporate data. However, data on an unmanaged device wouldn't be protected should the device go missing, he says.

Some other stats from that MobileIron survey: Some 45% had asked to bypass multifactor authentication (MFA), 37% wanted to access business data from unauthorized apps that cannot be vetted by IT, and 34% reported reusing passwords

"Understanding the sanctity of their corporate passwords and devices, and the potential dangers of working on an unsecure Wi-Fi network, should be top priorities for all remote workers," Mohr says. "It's alarming that the same executives that are often the targets of corporate espionage and aspiring hackers are usually the first to bypass the very protocols designed to protect them."

Jay Bretzmann, research director of cybersecurity products at IDC, says it stands to reason that senior executives would stand out.  

"Changing a password is somewhat to very annoying depending upon what sort of requirements [length, upper/lower case, special characters] exist," Bretzmann says. "What organizations ought to be doing is deploying password managers that can help their employees stay in-policy with respect to creations and rotations."

OneLogin's Brooks also offers some tips for security pros to better lock down top managers:

  • Discourage use of public Wi-Fi: Impress on top managers the inherent risks in using public Wi-Fi. If they have to use Wi-Fi at an airport or public place, make sure they log on via a VPN.
  • Issue managers corporate devices: Top managers are the high-wealth individuals hackers are after. They sign off on million-dollar purchase orders, approve raises, and have greater personal wealth than most of the staff, so they are prime targets for hackers. In these work-from-home times, security pros should give top managers and those who handle sensitive financial or medical information top priority for VPN access and have them work on corporate-issued devices.
  • Encourage MFA: Brooks says OneLogin surveys have found that people shut down if they can't sign in within 30 OneLogin. Impress on workers that by using MFA they will lower the potential for a breach to less than 3%.

(Image: OneLogin)
(Image: OneLogin)

Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience and has covered networking, security, and IT as a writer and editor since 1992. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-20733
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
Improper authorization in handler for custom URL scheme vulnerability in ????????? (asken diet) for Android versions from v.3.0.0 to v.4.2.x allows a remote attacker to lead a user to access an arbitrary website via the vulnerable App.
CVE-2021-20734
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
Cross-site scripting vulnerability in Welcart e-Commerce versions prior to 2.2.4 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary script or HTML via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2021-20735
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
Cross-site scripting vulnerability in ETUNA EC-CUBE plugins (Delivery slip number plugin (3.0 series) 1.0.10 and earlier, Delivery slip number csv bulk registration plugin (3.0 series) 1.0.8 and earlier, and Delivery slip number mail plugin (3.0 series) 1.0.8 and earlier) allows remote attackers to ...
CVE-2021-20736
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
NoSQL injection vulnerability in GROWI versions prior to v4.2.20 allows a remote attacker to obtain and/or alter the information stored in the database via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2021-20737
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-22
Improper authentication vulnerability in GROWI versions prior to v4.2.20 allows a remote attacker to view the unauthorized pages without access privileges via unspecified vectors.