MediaPro has recently conducted a survey on 1,000 employees and members of the public to find out more about the general level of security awareness. The firm wanted to create a baseline of security awareness for the general population.
The survey included questions on eight aspects of privacy and security: Incident reporting, working remotely, identifying personal information, access controls, identifying the warning signs of malware, cloud computing, social media and identifying potential phishing attempts.
Even though cybersecurity is a hot topic and there have been numerous high profile attacks on businesses, the survey has revealed security awareness is poor. In fact, 88% of respondents lacked the knowledge to be able to stop easily preventable privacy and security incidents. Only 12% of respondents had a high enough level of security awareness to prevent cyber incidents. 72% were rated as novices, with 16% of individuals posing a serious privacy and security risk.
26% of respondents displayed risky behaviours in incident reporting, 20% in working remotely, 19% in access controls, 19% in identifying personal information, 18% in malware identification, 15% in cloud computing, 14% in social media and 13% in phishing identification.
The survey showed a quarter of respondents were unable to identify a phishing attempt from a questionable email address. 39% chose to discard a password hint in a regular trash bin, 26% thought USB drives were acceptable for transferring work documents when working remotely and 30% thought it was OK to post on behalf of the company on social media sites.
The survey has clearly demonstrated the majority of people are unaware of security best practices that can prevent cyberattacks, which places those individuals and their employers at risk of data breaches, malware and ransomware attacks.
“Most organizations don’t really know whether their employees have the necessary level of data protection awareness to avoid preventable incidents,” said MediaPro founder and managing director, Steve Conrad. “We invite more organizations and their employees to take this free survey to give them a clearer picture of their human-based risk areas.”