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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

Arrr You Putting Your Business at Risk?

19 April 2016 by Jenn Granger

Downloading illegal pirate content is obviously bad and not something that you guys would ever do. And if you – or your employees – were doing it, you definitely wouldn’t be doing it on the same devices you use to connect to your company network. Right? A new study has shown that not only are pirate sites riddled with malware (surprise), employees downloading pirate content are often putting their company networks at risk too!

pirate risk business

A new study commissioned by threat management firm RiskIQ has found that a scary six in ten of the Brits that use their personal devices to download illegal pirate material – music, films etc. – are also using them to access their corporate network; risking life and limb on the high internet seas – or at least their employer data.

The study found that 80% of downloaders consider the security implications but only 60% consider the risks for their employer and, obviously, if you’re using the same device for both it’s easy for malware to hop about and infiltrate a company network.

And the consequences are for real. Digital Citizens Alliance study found those that stream are 28% more likely to get malware than those that don’t, and obviously once that gets onto the business’s network you’re in hella trouble.

Making matters worse is the fact that pirate sites are prime locations for malware booty to lie in wait.

“Pirate sites are an easy way of distributing malware so it should be a major concern for corporate security teams that so many individuals don’t consider the security implications,” said Ben Harknett, vice-president for Europe at RiskIQ.

The malware found was 45% drive-by downloads, when the visitor visits the site and doesn’t even need to click on anything to get infected and often wouldn’t even know they had been. The remaining 55% of malware lured users with prompts to download Adobe Flash or anti-virus updates.

RiskIQ concluded that it’s down to businesses to educate their employees on the risks – both to them and the businesses.

One way of getting around this is for businesses to put a robust BYOD strategy in place – at the moment it’s pretty blurred with many businesses (“oh just bring your laptop in, or work on your personal phone while you’re travelling”), but not having guidelines means that devices get used for both personal and professional capacity, and that can cause problems both for professional and personal data when it all goes wrong.

Good security practice and protecting your solution is a good place to start. Find out more about how UKFast can help you protect yourself on our website or give us a call on 0208 045 4945.