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Majority Of UAE Workers Say IT Security Policies Hinder Productivity

Majority Of UAE Workers Say IT Security Policies Hinder Productivity

Around 20 per cent of the employees polled in the UAE said that IT security policies made it harder for them to do their job, a new survey shows.

The majority (59 per cent) of people working in the UAE believe that measures put in to ensure IT security are stifling innovation and making it harder for them to do their job, a new survey has found.

The survey conducted by Cisco and Gulf Business Machines polled over 500 UAE workers found that 39 per cent of the respondents said that the security measures hinder easy collaboration with each other.

Meanwhile, 20 per cent of the employees said that such measures are making it harder for them to do their job. In addition, one in five respondents said that the costs of lost business opportunity outweigh the costs associated with a security breach.

The report added that this has also made some employees circumvent their company’s IT security policy, making employee behavior a top threat to data security.

Around 47 per cent of the employees in the Emirates were found to have low to moderate levels of adherence to their company’s security policy.

Employee behaviour was second only to organised cybercrime when employees were asked to identify the top two greatest sources of risk to data security, the report said.

The study also revealed that employees in the UAE were becoming increasingly complacent as they felt the company will protect them from any cyber breach.

Almost 41 per cent of the respondents said that they expected the company’s security settings to protect them from any breach while 46 per cent believed that it was a joint responsibility to keep the data safe.

In line with the findings, the research showed that there was an urgent need to evolve security policies that will adapt to various types of employee behaviour.

“An effective security strategy helps to protect an organisation before, during and after an attack,” said Rabih, Dabboussi, managing director for Cisco in the UAE.

“Worryingly, the survey shows most employees feel so immune to attack that they do not change their behaviour. This needs to be addressed urgently.”

He added that employees who blindly trust in their company’s security policies are the weakest links in a security chain as they provide hackers with an easy route to breach the company data.

“While better communication and education will help, it won’t solve the culture of complacency uncovered by this study,” said Dabboussi.

“IT leaders will be compelled to establish more user-friendly security policies that accommodate each behavioural profile in order to lower the risk of a breach across the entire organisation.”

Cyber security continues to be a growing concern among companies in the Middle East.

A recent report by Trend Micro showed that Saudi Arabia and the UAE posted the highest levels of malware detections in the Middle East over the last year.

For the top 10 malware detections alone in each country, the Kingdom counted 11.01 million instances, and the UAE counted 10.26 million instances, from June 2013 to May 2014, the report said.

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