Covid impact heightens risk of cyber security breaches

CYBER SECURITY breaches are the biggest staff-related risk as Covid-19 and recruitment difficulties continue to impact workplaces, according to a survey of Channel Island employers.

Walkers group partner Sarah Ash is an employment expert. (30184325)
Walkers group partner Sarah Ash is an employment expert. (30184325)

Seven out of 10 senior HR professionals and business leaders saw a cyber security breach as the greatest staff-related risk for a regulated financial services business – way ahead of employees leaving (16%) and employees working from home (10%). Some 57% of employers said Covid-19 had changed their policies, procedures and systems ‘moderately’, with 29.5% reporting ‘significant’ changes, according to the research undertaken at a virtual employment conference organised by Walkers last month.

In contrast, fewer had updated their contractual employment documentation, with 81% not having made changes to employment contracts as a result of the impact of the pandemic.

In terms of recruiting staff, 87% of employers had been asked by candidates about work life balance and 70% about hybrid working. But 56% of employers surveyed were currently finding it significantly more difficult finding candidates for roles available within their organisation.

‘It has been a challenging 18 months for businesses of all kinds and the survey results show the impact that employers are feeling as we continue to emerge from the disruption caused by Covid-19,’ said Walkers group partner Sarah Ash, from the firm’s Guernsey employment law team.

‘Our experience advising employers mainly in financial services shows that issues including IT security for home workers are increasingly front-and-centre for HR teams and business leaders. We fully expect to see continued focus by employers on how they can adjust and improve their working practices to both recruit and retain key talent.’

Victoria Pratt, senior counsel in Walkers’ Guernsey employment law team, said the workplace had changed in the wake of the pandemic.

‘Many businesses have taken opportunities to learn from the pandemic experience and to work differently and hopefully better. Workplaces have not simply returned to how they used to operate,’ she added.

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