Unisys (NYSE: UIS) has conducted a new Unisys Security Index, analyzing the effects of remote work and critical information as an effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company reported that working from home has created a false sense of security, with under 31 percent of Americans concerned about cyberattacks. Meanwhile, during the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercrime has risen by 400 percent.
“Hackers target healthcare and essential services organizations looking to steal intellectual property and intelligence, such as details on national health policies and COVID-19 research,” said Unisys Chief Information Security Officer Mathew Newfield.
The survey found that overall concerns around internet security have fallen by 13 points from 2019, ranking the lowest among the four primary areas of security surveyed for the first time since 2010.
While concerns are at a low, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has noted that more than 52,000 cases of reported fraud related to COVID-19. Unisys’ survey also found that 70 percent of respondents are not concerned about the risk of being scammed during or about the health crisis.
Instead, Americans reported greater concern for economic stability, with 60 percent registering serious concern and the stability of the country’s health infrastructure, with 55 percent extremely or very concerned.
Unisys also inquired about personal security, national security and financial security. Concerns around personal safety and natural disasters and epidemics increased by 17 percent and 6 percent from 2019, and concerns over national security decreased by 19 percent from 2019.
“This underscores the need for businesses to ensure they are placing a clear and concerted emphasis on proper training for their employees working from home and adopting a Zero Trust security architecture that leverages best practices like encryption and microsegmentation.”
The Unisys Security Index surveyed more than 15,000 consumers in 15 countries, including more than 1,000 in the U.S., in March and April 2020. Unisys gauged their attitudes on a wide range of security-related issues.
On a scale of zero to 300, with 300 representing the highest level of concern, the U.S. index is now at 159, a serious level of concern and the second-highest among the nine developed countries surveyed.
The survey found that security concerns in all countries are higher among women, younger people and those with lower incomes. In the U.S., the survey found concern was 12 points higher among women than men and 13 points higher among 18-to-24-year-olds than respondents aged 55 to 65.
“According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly half of adults 18 and over have either lost employment income or another adult in their household has lost employment income since the beginning of the pandemic. For many women, particularly those with children at home, the pandemic has only magnified the challenges they have long been facing as they juggle career and family,” said Unisys Chief Marketing Officer Ann Sung Ruckstuhl.
Unisys is a global information technology company that builds high-performance, security-centric solutions for the most demanding businesses and governments. Unisys offerings include security software and services; digital transformation and workplace services; industry applications and services; and innovative software operating environments for high-intensity enterprise computing.