Trend Micro Finds 82% of Remote Workers in UAE Have Gained Cybersecurity Awareness During Lockdown

Survey reveals users take security training seriously, but may still engage in risky behaviour

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- 9 July 2020 Trend Micro Incorporated (TYO: 4704; TSE: 4704), a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, today released survey results that show how remote workers address cybersecurity. More than four fifths (82%) of remote workers in the UAE say they are more conscious of their organisation’s cybersecurity policies since lockdown began in March, but many are breaking the rules anyway due to limited understanding or resource constraints. The UAE has since seen lockdown regulations ease as organizations return to work with new physical distancing and hygiene precautions.

Trend Micro’s Head in the Clouds study is distilled from interviews with 13,200 remote workers across 27 countries, including 502 remote working knowledge workers in the UAE, on their attitudes towards corporate cybersecurity and IT policies. It reveals that there has never been a better time for companies to take advantage of heightened employee cybersecurity awareness. The survey reveals that the approach businesses take to training is critical to ensure secure practices are being followed.

The results indicate a high level of security awareness in the UAE, with 88% of respondents claiming they take instructions from their IT team seriously, and 85% agree that cybersecurity within their organisation is partly their responsibility. Additionally, 79% acknowledge that using non-work applications on a corporate device is a security risk.

However, just because most people understand the risks does not mean they stick to the rules.

For example:

Productivity still wins out over protection for many users in the UAE. A third of respondents (38%) agree that they do not give much thought to whether the apps they use are sanctioned by IT or not, as they just want the job done. Additionally, 37% think they can get away with using a non-work application, as the solutions provided by their company are ‘nonsense.’

Trend Micro’s Head in the Clouds study looks into the psychology of people’s behaviour in terms of cybersecurity, including their attitudes towards risk. It presents several common information security “personas” with the aim of helping organisations tailor their cybersecurity strategy in the right way for the right employee, including employees who take a conscientious, fearful, ignorant, or ‘daredevil’ approach to cybersecurity.

“The high degree of cybersecurity awareness in the UAE as demonstrated by the survey results is not surprising given the country’s pioneering approach to delivering online services through a ‘smart cities’ strategy – this has resulted in a highly mature and aware market,” said Majd Sinan, Country Manager UAE at Trend Micro. “In the UAE, cybersecurity training should evolve not only to take different personas into account, but also the new normal of remote working.”

“In today’s interconnected world, unashamedly ignoring cybersecurity guidance is no longer a viable option for employees in the UAE,” Majd Sinan added. “It’s encouraging to see that so many take the advice from their corporate IT team seriously. Having said that, there are individuals who are either blissfully ignorant or worse still who think cybersecurity is not applicable them and will regularly flout the rules. Hence having a ‘one size fits all’ security awareness programme is a non-starter. A tailored training programme that reflects the UAE’s technologically-advanced and mature approach, and that is designed to cater for multicultural employees, will likely be the most effective one.”

About Trend Micro

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, helps to make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Our innovative solutions for consumers, businesses, and governments provide layered security for data centers, cloud environments, networks, and endpoints. All our products work together to seamlessly share threat intelligence and provide a connected threat defense with centralized visibility and control, enabling better, faster protection. With more than 6,000 employees in over 50 countries and the world’s most advanced global threat intelligence, Trend Micro secures your connected world. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Alexander Pieri