A third of employees are more likely to trigger a web site block while working remotely than at the office, highlighting the need for IT managers to have the appropriate tools and policies in place, according to research by Symantec Hosted Services.
The firm's MessageLabs Intelligence report for September revealed that 35 per cent of remote and office-based workers who use the MessageLabs Hosted Web Security Service are more likely to contravene corporate policy surfing the web when on the road.
Paul Wood, senior analyst for Symantec Hosted Services, said that the main threat is those office-based workers who only work remotely on occasion.
"Psychologically, this kind of employee is much more likely to consider working from home as an environment where the 'normal rules of behaviour' are temporarily suspended," he added.
"Whether it is spending time on social networking sites, inappropriate sites with adult content or gambling online, the net effect of this activity is a waste of company time in addition to potential exposure to malicious threats."
The dangers of un-vetted internet access are clear. Some 21.8 per cent of all web-based malware blocked in September was new, an increase of 8.9 per cent since the previous month, according to the research.
September was also dominated by the 'Here you have' email virus, which used old-fashioned social engineering to trick users into opening a malicious .scr file disguised as a PDF.
The outbreak helped to increase the threat from the email channel yet again during the period.
The global ratio of email-borne viruses in email traffic from new and previously unknown bad sources was one in 218.7 (0.46 per cent) in September, an increase of 0.15 percentage points since August, said Symantec.
However, the amount of email containing malicious links decreased by over 13 per cent during the period.
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