Study: One Third of German Employees Put the Company’s IT Security at Risk

Study: One third of German employees put the company's IT security at risk

The proportion of employees with low or very low competence in IT security is rising significantly. Only 27 percent consider themselves to have a high or very high level of competence.

According to a study by G Data, employees in German companies have a lot of catching up to do in the area of IT security. Almost 34 percent (up 8.9 points) risk their employer’s security from cyberattacks due to low or very low competence.

Only 10.1 percent of respondents said they had a very high level of competence, one point less than in the previous year. A great deal of competence was assumed by 16.9 percent, down 6.1 points. 39.2 percent of the participants considered themselves to have a medium level of competence, down 1.8 points on the previous year.

Low competence increases consequences of cyber attacks

G Data emphasized that the scores for low and very low competence in particular have increased compared to the previous year. IT managers are therefore under pressure to ensure better security awareness. Cyber attacks on companies are quickly successful or more serious if employees do not know what to do in an emergency.

“Cyber criminals have it easy in German companies. Due to poor knowledge around IT security, the workforce is not prepared in case of an attack. More than a third of survey participants rate personal competence as ‘low’ or ‘very low’. Only one in ten employees sees themselves as having very high skills in this area,” G Data reported.

Healthcare and social services industries bring up the rear

According to the study, employees in the telecommunications and information services sectors have the highest level of knowledge in the area of IT security. Employees in the financial and insurance services sectors also attest to good skills. By contrast, the health and social services sector brings up the rear. In the healthcare sector in particular, a number of digitization projects are currently in the pipeline, such as the digital patient file. However, employees in this and the social sector in particular suffer from a high workload, which in this case jeopardizes IT security.

For this representative study, more than 5,000 employees in Germany were surveyed about cyber security in their professional and private lives.


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