EDITOR ’ S QUESTION
DOES ‘ FEAR FATIGUE ’ ( A DEMOTIVATION TO FOLLOW RECOMMENDED PROTECTIVE BEHAVIORS ) AMONG EMPLOYEES REPRESENT A SERIOUS THREAT TO THE CYBERSECURITY OF THEIR COMPANIES ?
Malwarebytes , a global leader in real-time cyberprotection , has announced the findings from its latest survey examining how the impact of the global pandemic and an increasing hybrid workforce is impacting cybersecurity and changing the face of work environments forever .
In the spring of 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning , Malwarebytes surveyed 200 IT decision makers ( ITDMs ) and C-level executives about how the lockdowns affected their cybersecurity practices . 18 months later , Malwarebytes surveyed ITDMs and C-suite executives again .
“ While organizations showed great versatility in shifting to dispersed work environments during the pandemic , it also brought to light the need for an entirely different and more robust approach to security that offers more education and support to employees ,” said Adam Kujawa , Director of Malwarebytes Labs .
“ We have more threats coming through on less secure personal networks and a rise in brute force attacks to reach businesses through remote desktop protocols . We need a holistic approach that secures employees no matter what network they are on or what device they are using .”
The report , Still Enduring From Home , reveals how the ongoing pandemic and resulting remote and hybrid workforce is reshaping how organizations and employees secure data as well as their feelings about cyberthreats .
The new data suggests that complacency brought about by fear fatigue is a growing threat for cybercrime and data loss :
• Malwarebytes ’ survey found that 61 % acknowledge that employees are experiencing fear fatigue , with 27 % feeling particularly overwhelmed by fear .
• Almost 80 % of survey respondents reported some level of jadedness or ‘ fear fatigue ’ within their organization .
Defined as the ‘ demotivation to follow recommended protective behaviors , emerging gradually over time and affected by a number of emotions , experiences and perceptions ’, fear fatigue can often lead to careless behavior , such as opening an email attachment without properly scrutinizing the sender or neglecting to turn on a VPN while using public WiFi .
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