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Cost saving alarm

Firms slash IT staff despite rise in remote working

work home office

Home working has seen a rise in demand for IT kit

More than a third (37%) of companies have made members of their IT staff redundant or placed them on furlough schemes despite the rise in remote working.

New research also reveals that nearly half (47%) have frozen their IT budgets and four in ten (41%) admit their remote working systems may be in breach of data privacy regulations.

Furthermore, 45% expect a company data breach to occur during the Covid-19 crisis, due to staff using personal devices which are not properly protected.

Despite these concerns, 44% of companies are aware that members of staff are using an outdated version of the Zoom video conferencing app – which can cause severe security issues.

Also, almost half (47%) have allowed members of staff to purchase their own laptops and tablets to work from home – many of which will not be properly protected or connected to company IT servers.

IT professionals were expected to benefit from the lockdown, managing the transition to remote working, implementing new software, updating applications, securing data and ensuring home-workers browse the internet safely.

However, 34% of UK companies have made members of their IT staff redundant or placed them on furlough, and 49% have frozen their IT budget until further notice.

Andy Harcup, VP EMEA of Absolute Software, said: “It beggars belief that businesses are slashing IT staff at a time when digital skills are so critical for delivering effective remote working systems.

“It’s also worrying that such a high proportion of companies are allowing employees to share confidential company data on personal devices, using outdated apps as well as knowingly operating in breach of GDPR rules.

With thousands of companies ordering brand new laptops and tablet computers to support remote working, it’s also crucial that that companies have the necessary cyber security systems in place to ensure every device using the company network is patched, encrypted and protected from outsider threats.”

The research by independent polling agency Censuswide was commissioned by Leonne International, the private equity firm and received responses from 1,116 business decision makers from the UK, US, France and Germany.

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