New research from Kaspersky has discovered that of the 32% of Brits provided with a corporate desktop computer, only 77% have adequate anti-virus or cybersecurity software installed, leaving 23% of company desktops significantly insecure and exposed to cyber-threats.

This is also the case for company smartphones, 23% of which are unprotected, according to the security giant.

Kaspersky did point out that corporate laptops are slightly more likely to be protected than desktops and smartphones, although it stated that one in five laptops still lack adequate security software.

Kaspersky commissioned Arlington Research to interview 2000 UK consumers aged 18+ in June 2020.

The figures gathered are particularly concerning given the current remote working trend brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen 48% of the UK’s 32.9 million workers work remotely from their normal workplace this year.

With regards to personal devices being used for corporate means – something that has become more common since COVID-19 lockdowns and remote working strategies were introduced – Kaspersky’s findings make for even more troubling reading.

For example, more than half of those surveyed by Kaspersky stated that they use personal smartphones to check work email, while 36% rely on their personal laptop or desktop for work. However, personal devices are even less likely to be protected by adequate security software than employer-supplied equipment, Kaspersky found.

“When company devices are used outside the workplace, they are at greater risk of cyber-threats,” said David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky. “Therefore, it’s troubling to discover that nearly a quarter of corporate computers and smartphones lack anti-virus software, leaving them potentially vulnerable to attack.

“It’s important that all businesses pre-install staff computers and devices with security software to ensure they are protected at all times. Employers must also make sure staff know how to install or check the status of anti-virus software while working on personal, or company devices from home, to secure corporate information and networks.”