Two thirds of organizations are not effective at protecting the privacy of their employees, according to new research conducted by the Ponemon Institute.
The report, created with sponsorship from cyber-intelligence company DTEX, surveyed a global pool of 1,249 IT and IT security practitioners. Participants were questioned about their organizations’ approach to securing sensitive information and reducing workforce risks.
Findings revealed that 63% of respondents believe it is important or very important to protect employees’ privacy in the workforce. However, only slightly more than a third (34%) of organizations are effective or very effective in doing so.
Researchers also found that most organizations struggle to balance respecting workforce privacy against a perceived need to monitor employee engagement and internal risk.
Sixty-four percent of survey respondents said that tracking employee activity and performance without damaging their morale or diminishing their trust in the organization was a difficult task.
More than half (53%) of companies believe their employees expect their personal behaviors and activities to remain private. However, fewer than half (47%) of companies anonymize the data they collect on their employees for the purposes of monitoring for security risk and operational performance.
Fewer than half (49%) of companies were transparent about what information about their employees was being collected onsite and remotely.
The shift to remote work was seen as a reason to keep an even closer eye on the workforce. However, only 35% of organizations enable their employees to express any concerns about the protection of their privacy in remote locations.
A key takeaway from this research is that workforce privacy “must be a top priority, not simply just a feel-good goal,” said DTEX Systems chief customer officer, Rajan Koo.
“The workforce is a source of incredible intelligence, yet organizations continue to fall into a ‘big brother’ surveillance approach that erodes trust and transparency. Draconian tech solutions in the marketplace are only worsening this problem. The findings of this report make it clear – a reckoning is coming.”