Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

Many Employees Attempt To Use Web Inappropriately, Study Finds

One in five browser requests is blocked; one-third of workers frequently attempt to break policy

You might be blocking your employees from inappropriately using the Web at work -- but that doesn't stop them from trying.

That's the word from Symantec's MessageLabs Intelligence unit, which posted a blogWednesday offering some statistics it has collected from users on employees' browser behavior in the office.

For all employees browsing the Web, the blog says, one in five requests are blocked due to infringement of company policy.

Users can be split into three groups, according to the research. About one-third have no blocked requests, about one-third have less than 10 percent of all requests blocked, and the remaining third have a "large proportion" of their Web requests blocked.

Twenty percent of users have more requests blocked than allowed, MessageLabs says. Fourteen percent of users have between 90 and 100 percent of all requests blocked.

"There will always be a subset of employees that are likely to try and flout the rules when browsing the Internet," says Paul Wood, the MessageLabs researcher who wrote the blog. "This behavior not only goes against company policy, but also wastes time, can be a serious drain on resources/bandwidth, and crucially increases the risk of infection by malware."

Interestingly, users who are constantly outside the office actually have fewer blocked requests than those who are in the office regularly. Users who surf the Web both in the office and on the road have the worst record for attempting inappropriate access.

"Why this is we are not sure," Wood says. "It's possible that users roaming all the time are more likely to behave in a manner that would be acceptable in the office; in a way, their roaming status is the 'norm' for them. Whereas those that browse in the office, leave, and continue to browse outside of the office may feel a slight sense of added freedom, and [consciously or subconsciously] loosen their browsing habits."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 10/23/2020
7 Tips for Choosing Security Metrics That Matter
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer,  10/19/2020
Russian Military Officers Unmasked, Indicted for High-Profile Cyberattack Campaigns
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  10/19/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-24847
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
A Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) vulnerability is identified in FruityWifi through 2.4. Due to a lack of CSRF protection in page_config_adv.php, an unauthenticated attacker can lure the victim to visit his website by social engineering or another attack vector. Due to this issue, an unauthenticat...
CVE-2020-24848
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
FruityWifi through 2.4 has an unsafe Sudo configuration [(ALL : ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL]. This allows an attacker to perform a system-level (root) local privilege escalation, allowing an attacker to gain complete persistent access to the local system.
CVE-2020-5990
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
NVIDIA GeForce Experience, all versions prior to 3.20.5.70, contains a vulnerability in the ShadowPlay component which may lead to local privilege escalation, code execution, denial of service or information disclosure.
CVE-2020-25483
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
An arbitrary command execution vulnerability exists in the fopen() function of file writes of UCMS v1.4.8, where an attacker can gain access to the server.
CVE-2020-5977
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-23
NVIDIA GeForce Experience, all versions prior to 3.20.5.70, contains a vulnerability in NVIDIA Web Helper NodeJS Web Server in which an uncontrolled search path is used to load a node module, which may lead to code execution, denial of service, escalation of privileges, and information disclosure.