The gig model has become a popular choice for many companies because it can potentially get the workers they need without paying for perks like health insurance and paid time off. Instead, they can pay their workers exactly for the amount of work they are doing, potentially keeping all parties happier than they otherwise would have been.
With all that said, we’re now getting out of the way, but it’s important to note that the gig economy is not without its fair share of problems. One such issue is the growing cybersecurity risk. Whenever a company hires a contractor, it has to grant them access to a certain amount of sensitive data. According to Beyondidentity, 87% of these contractors said their clients still have access to her account after completing their assigned tasks. This can pose a serious cybersecurity threat if no measures are taken to mitigate this problem.
There are currently 59 million Americans working as freelancers, and gig work accounts for one-third of the US workforce. As this is still a relatively new phenomenon, all parties are getting used to the way this business is run. 71% of these contractors have access to financial accounts, 64% have access to communication channels, and 63% have access to operational accounts to complete their work.
Other areas are at risk as well. 47% of gig workers need to be able to open social media accounts, 42% of workers need cloud accounts, 32% have access to client email accounts, and 22% are responsible for project management.
Also, 62% of gig workers say they have a good understanding of client security protocols, while 34% say they only know to some extent. 4% even said they were not familiar with client security protocols at all.
This means there are hundreds of thousands of gig workers in the US alone who are directly causing cybersecurity chaos. That’s just some familiarity, not counting the tens of millions who expose their clients to all sorts of cyberattacks and security issues.
Also, being aware of security restrictions and protocols is not the same as adhering to them. His 41% of contractors admitted to following these protocols only occasionally. Twenty-four percent say they follow it often but not always, and 34% say they always stick to protocol no matter what.
A company hacked after hiring a contractor is very serious. 64% reported fraudulent purchases and a similar percentage said their money was stolen. User ID and password theft was also the result of 60% of hacks, and he found that 46% of hacked businesses had their credit ratings destroyed.
Companies looking to collaborate with gig workers should take steps to mitigate frequent cybersecurity threats. Failure to do so could make the gig economy unsustainable in the long run.
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