Almost a quarter of homeworkers don’t think about data protection policies and regulations

The coronavirus has forced many companies to embrace remote working. However, this could lead to laps in data protection compliance, according to new research from data discovery software platform Exonar.

The research was conducted in partnership with market research house OnePoll. It revealed that 24% of people working from home due to COVID-19 admit they rarely or never consider data protection policies or regulations when they share information with colleagues as part of their work.

The researchers also uncovered data that seemed to indicate that the oldest and youngest workers were the least likely to consider data protection rules. Of the workers aged between 18 and 24 or the group above the age of 55, 24% and 32% respectively said they considered this either rarely or never.

Moreover, 14% of UK homeworkers said they had little to no understanding of their company’s data protection policies or data regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

“The results of the research cause huge concern because today, every company is effectively a data company,” said Danny Reeves, CEO of Ecxonar. “Every enterprise holds sensitive information about its customers that could do massive reputational damage if handled incorrectly.

“Right now, employees are needing to access and work with customer data from home, which increases the risk of sensitive information not being protected properly, especially if people are not following data protection principles. It only takes one mistake by one employee to create a data breach situation.

“The business landscape has changed beyond recognition and data management is now absolutely essential for businesses operating a world of home working. Putting privacy at the heart of a data management strategy is no longer optional.

“The problem is that in almost every case, businesses simply do not know what data they’ve got, where it is, and therefore how to secure it. There’s a dangerous lack of visibility across data estates.”

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