With the holiday shopping season upon us, workers who have access to their employer’s computers will likely spend work time bargain-hunting and shopping online, exposing the business to computer-based viruses and hacks as well as lost productivity.


A recent study conducted by the global non profit information systems association ISACA revealed that nearly 40% of business and IT leaders believe that employees will spend more time shopping online at their computers than they did a year ago.


Holiday Productivity to be Compromised


The ISACA survey found that during the holiday season 63% of business leaders think that employees will spend 3 hours of more shopping online during company time, and 25% think that employees will spend more than 9 hours or one working day shopping online. This translates to a loss of over £600 per employee, though in some cases this could be as high as £8,500 per employee.


How Businesses are Responding


Many companies have pre-empted the holiday-based online activity with company-wide internet usage policies. According to the study, 14% of organisations limit personal use to non-working hours, such as during lunch or before and after the workday, and 31% of companies restrict access to certain sites, whereas only 9% prevent online shopping at all.


In the case of restricting social networking, only 23% of organisations ban their employees from using social networking sites for personal use, 9% limit usage to non-working hours and 28% prevent access to certain sites.


Online Security to be Compromised


In the ISACA study, business leaders from across Europe highlighted the following activities related to online shopping as being the highest risk for their companies:

  • Clicking on links in e-mail messages from unknown senders to access online shopping sites (42%)

  • Accessing social networking sites for personal use from work-supplied computers or smart phones (32%)

  • Using mobile shopping applications on work-supplied devices (30%)

  • Downloading personal files, including music (56%)

  • Losing a work-supplied computer or smart phone— (68%)


How Businesses are Responding

According to the study, 73% of European businesses now have a security policy that covers mobile devices and 48% of companies regularly educate their employees about securing their work-related and personal mobile devices.

(Image Credit)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *