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Annie Hayes

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Home workers cause security ‘headache’

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Working from home is threatening businesses security, a cost that is estimated to be around £8.5 billion a year.

This is the claim from IT security expert, Novell who say that home workers pose a new threat dubbed ‘security teleshirking.’

Those that are ambivalent to security issues, four out of five according to the survey, are vulnerable to computer viruses and hackers.

According to Novell, the problem is one of awareness. Homeworkers, they claim are more concerned about distractions from the TV, “feeling lonely” and “missing the buzz of the office” rather than exposure to deadly PC viruses in their average day.

Steve Brown, Managing Director, Novell UK commented: “The number of people working from home or from a remote office is growing all the time. The benefits of having a more flexible workforce are clear, but the dangers are sometimes less obvious. As the numbers of home workers grow, so does the number of security risks to businesses.

Security just isn’t top of the home workers agenda. The only way to protect against this growing type of security threat is to take the responsibility off home workers.”

Three quarters of office workers who took part in the survey expressed their desire to work from home and with over half of UK businesses having the resources to allow it, the security problem looks set to increase.

Brown said: “Successful and secure home and remote working is absolutely achievable. If bosses feel comfortable that their employees aren’t opening the door to IT security threats from their living room, workers will be one step closer to the benefits of flexible working.

“Novell itself has an advanced policy allowing workers to have the freedom of working from home, without having to worry about the security implications. The security layer is so intrinsic that Novell employees only have to remember one password to securely access everything they need to do their jobs from any location.”

Security, however, might not be the only issue businesses should concern themselves with when considering home working options. The survey found that one in five Britons would like to work from home to have the chance to watch daytime television and “skive off.”

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Annie Hayes

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