Irish workers accessing Dark Web in the office

Dave Keating, DataSolutions
Dave Keating, DataSolutions

Employees accessing unsecure sites could make company severs “susceptible to cyberattacks”

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29 August 2019 | 0

Irish workers are accessing the dark web from their offices, according to research from IT solutions distributor, DataSolutions. This is a portion of the internet that is hidden from search engines. It uses masked IP addresses so users are untraceable and can operate anonymously.

The survey, which involved 500 participants, found that over one fifth (22%) of Gen Z workers have accessed the Dark Web from work.

It also found that each day, 20% of office workers spend over an hour of company time on personal activities. Participants admitted to reading the news, scrolling through social media and messaging friends and family while on the clock. Younger generations were the main offenders; 39% of Gen Zs spend over an hour on their own matters daily, then Millennials at 26%, followed by Gen X and Baby Boomers (10%).

Some 42% of workers caught engaging in personal matters at work say their boss did not take issue with it. However, in one in ten cases the worker received a warning, disciplinary action or was even dismissed on those grounds.  

“If employees are engaging in personal activities at work, and perhaps interacting with unsecure websites or entering confidential information, company servers could be more susceptible to cyberattacks,”said David Keating, group security director, DataSolutions.

“The real question is whether employers are fully aware of what employees are doing on work devices and whether safeguards are in place to protect the organisation from associated risks. It’s not about banning personal activities altogether; it’s about being aware of potential weak spots and introducing technologies that help to protect work systems and data.

“It’s not only information and infrastructure that’s potentially at risk here, it’s the company’s reputation and customer base. Irish business leaders have to take responsibility and ensure that, regardless of what staff are doing, they are taking action to shield their organisation from threats.”

The survey was conducted by Censuswide in May. It defined generations as follows:

  • Gen Z: aged 16-23
  • Millennials: aged 24-37
  • Gen X: aged 38-53
  • Baby Boomers: aged 54-72

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