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Efforts to Increase Workplace Mobility and Productivity Could Create Security Is ...

Wake-up call for SMBs as the Avast Business 2018 Mobile Workforce
Report finds only 18% of employees are concerned with security & IT when
it comes to flexible working

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (BUSINESS WIRE) Avast (AVST:LSE), the global leader in digital security products, today

announced findings from its 2018 Mobile Workforce Report. The research

found that new flexible working practices could pose a security risk to

small businesses, with one in five of employees (21%) stating they are

most productive when working in public spaces like a cafe or library,

but only 18% concerned with the security implications this could have.

Small to mid-size businesses (SMB) therefore face the challenge of

keeping their business secure, all the while adhering to the needs and

expectations of the modern workforce.

A new normal

The study uncovered the trends and

expectations around mobile working, with over half (52%) preferring to

take a pay cut rather than being restricted to an office. A further 12%

would choose home working flexibility over a pay rise, even if they were

offered an increase of 25%. With businesses in a battle for the best

talent, being able to attract workers with this ability to offer modern

working practices will be vital. However, 38% said they don’t receive

the technological support or expertise they need when working from home

or in a public place, which makes security an increasing issue for small

businesses offering flexible working to solve.

“The 9-5 workplace is a thing of the past, and the employees entering

the workforce today are demanding increased flexibility with hours,

location, and personalized benefits,” said Kevin Chapman, SVP and

general manager at Avast Business. “Whilst proven in some cases to

increase employee satisfaction, and even productivity, there are very

real security issues that need to be addressed. Businesses need to be in

a position where they provide the tools that not only enable

flexibility, but do so in a secure way. It’s also important not to

forget those employees that would prefer to remain in a traditional

office environment. A balance must be struck to enable all employees to

work in a way that is most beneficial to them.”

Benefits of mobile working

Not only will SMBs be able to

attract the best staff, but mobile working does appear to have other

benefits. When employees of small businesses were asked about the

benefits of being allowed to work remotely and remotely, over a third

(34%) said it made them happier, and 32% claimed that it makes them

enjoy their job. The research also found that it’s not just employee

satisfaction that increases, but flexible working could also have a

positive impact on quality of work and productivity; 38% of employees

claimed to be the most productive when working from home compared to 35%

who felt they were the most productive in the office.

Small businesses looking to adapt new working practices need to address

the challenges raised in the report. If staff are accessing sensitive

data or logging into business accounts through unsecured Wi-Fi, this

puts the business at risk of an attack. There is also risk of a data

breach should an employee save sensitive information to a desktop that

then gets stolen, especially if passwords aren’t unique and complex.

Small business owners need to provide security measures for mobile

workers such as Virtual Private Network solutions for use on open Wi-Fi

connections and anti-malware endpoint software for all employee Bring

Your Own Device handsets and tablets. This should be coupled with

ensuring that they are educating their employees on the very important

role they have to play in the business’s security.

The report notes there is an increasing trend towards mobile working,

there is still a significant number of those who prefer the stability of

basing themselves in an office. The study also found that levels of

stress and anxiety in the workplace did not differ wildly whether an

employee was office or home-based, suggesting that there should not be a

one-size-fits all approach to mobile working.

Further details of the study, and the full 2018 Mobile Workforce Report

can be found here .

About Avast (AVST:LSE)

Avast ( www.avast.com ),

the global leader in digital security products, protects over 400

million people online. Avast offers products under the Avast and AVG

brands that protect people from threats on the internet and the evolving

IoT threat landscape. The company’s threat detection network is among

the most advanced in the world, using machine learning and artificial

intelligence technologies to detect and stop threats in real time. Avast

digital security products for Mobile, PC or Mac are top-ranked and

certified by VB100, AV-Comparatives, AV-Test, OPSWAT, ICSA Labs, West

Coast Labs and others. Avast is backed by leading global private equity

firms CVC Capital Partners and Summit Partners.

The AVG Business by Avast portfolio provides solutions that extend

across endpoint protection to complete network management to secure,

simplify and optimize the IT experience for SMBs worldwide. The product

portfolio reflects a unique and strong combination of security and

managed services capabilities for both end-customers and channel

partners, fueled by the company’s strengths as a remote monitoring and

management solution provider with its own native security engine. AVG

Business by Avast is also dedicated to the channel and has a

comprehensive partner program in place to ensure partners can

successfully position and sell the products, effectively secure SMBs,

and enable profitable channel growth.

In July 2018, Avast Business surveyed 1,850 individuals who spend at

least one day a week working from home. All respondents work for small

businesses in the U.S. and U.K.



Leonora Fleming

PR Manager, US



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