Cyber-attacks on mobiles puts nearly two-thirds of UK workers at risk

A recent study has revealed that around 67.4% of UK employees use their phones for home-working, putting their company at risk of mobile cyber-attacks.

The report into the screen habits of 1,000 UK employees by telecoms provider, TextAnywhere, said that businesses need to ensure they “educate employees” around safe practices when accessing platforms via mobile.

Applications from third-party vendors and unsecured WIFI can be “easy gateways for cybercriminals” to access sensitive information via business emails or chat messages, the report said.

The pandemic forced many staff to work from home last year, which is providing easier targets for hackers. Research carried out by Carbon Black found that 88% of UK companies suffered security breaches in 2020.

Commenting on the data, James Bosley, Marketing Manager at TextAnywhere said: “Today almost everyone uses a smartphone in their day-to-day life, both for work and personal use.

“They help to keep us connected at all times, but arguably, more could be done by business leaders to ensure safe and secure practice.”

“The past 18 months have presented multiple challenges. As employees return to the office, it’s important that healthy business communication is established, and all staff feel supported.

“Business should prioritise ensuring all employees are aware of the remote access policies, procedure and best practice – the most effective way to do this is through the device they are using most, their phone.”

The likelihood of cyber-attacks has been boosted during the pandemic; however, homeworking has improved work-life balance for many and increased productivity in businesses that don’t rely on central office space.

Around 67% of respondents admitted that they are accessing work chats or emails on a mobile. However, 31% of respondents said they carry out these work tasks using their personal phone on a regular basis, increasing the threat of a cybersecurity issue for their employer.


Research from early October by Citrix also found that the move back towards hybrid working is making it difficult for UK cybersecurity leaders to safeguard their organisations.

According to the State of Security in a Hybrid World report, 72% of UK security decision-makers say procedures and controls have become more complex as their organisations transition to remote and hybrid work, with 71% fighting to keep up with the increased volume of security threats that the models create.

The TextAnywhere report concluded that, with effective employee communication and training, organisations can “substantially reduce the risk of cyber-attacks” while creating a “healthy and effective remote culture”.

Raphael Waller from IT service provider Cardonet added: “Most businesses and industries are now reliant on technology and because of this, the impacts of a cyberattack are more harmful than ever. Cybercrime has become a key focus for criminals because the financial gain is so high when holding organisations to ransom.

“Regular cybersecurity training is vital in helping your team better understand how they can protect the organisation from threats and what they can do to be more alert.

“Keeping organisations safe is something that everyone has a role to play in, no longer just IT or Security.”

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