Visual hacking is a low-tech method of capturing sensitive, confidential and private information for unauthorised use. This is happening right now due to an employee’s carelessness with confidential information or the lack of awareness of such security threats. With confidential information displayed virtually anywhere, organisations can no longer ignore this issue and should consider making visual privacy a key priority, as part of their data security measures. A hacker may need only one piece of information to expose an organisation to a data breach. It is important to educate employees on the proper privacy solutions available, including the use of 3M Privacy and Screen Protectors.
An eye-opening look at the need for visual privacy in the workplace—all over the world.
In 2015, Ponemon Institute conducted an experiment in the U.S. that revealed how easy it was to capture sensitive company information through visual hacking. To determine if visual hacking was an issue on a global scale, 3M sponsored an expanded experiment in 2016 to include offices in China, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
The worldwide results are alarming and serve as a good reminder of the importance of addressing visual privacy in organisations all over the world.
An undercover white hat hacker was able to visually hack information in 91% of the global trials.1
In nearly half of the global trials, an undercover visual hacker was able to obtain information in 15 minutes or less.1
Globally, 52% of sensitive information was successfully hacked from employee computer screens.1
The visual hacker was stopped in only 32% of global attempts. Meaning 68% of the time, no one did anything to stop them.1
An undercover white hat hacker was able to visually hack information in 88% of the U.S trials.2
In nearly half of the U.S. trials, an undercover visual hacker was able to capture information in 15 minutes or less.2
An undercover visual hacker in the U.S. saw an average of 5 pieces of sensitive information per trial, including corporate financials and confidential employee and customer information.2
The visual hacker was stopped in only 30% of attempts in the U.S. This means 70% of the time, no one did anything to stop them.2
1 Average based on global trials conducted by Ponemon Institute during the “Visual Hacking Experiment,” 2015, and the “Global Visual Hacking Experiment,” 2016, both sponsored by 3M.
2 Average based on U.S. trials conducted by Ponemon Institute during the “Visual Hacking Experiment,” 2015, sponsored by 3M.
Take the risk out of these key risk areas by addressing points of vulnerability in the workplace.
Understanding the methods of visual hackers can help to protect your visual privacy. Organisational leadership should focus on common points of visual hacking to help reduce vulnerability. Login credentials, classified documents, corporate financials and more are all at stake.
Virtually any screen you see can also be seen by a visual hacker.
How many visitors and contractors walk through your office every day? Even your employees may see sensitive information.
The low walls and shared spaces in many contemporary open office environments mean more screens are visible to more people.
Think outside your walls. In today’s modern, mobile business environment, having a visual privacy plan is more vital than ever.
3 "Technology’s Impact on Workers”, Pew Research Center, December 2014.
What do mobile workers think of visual hacking when they’re working out of the office?
The Ponemon Institute surveyed professional mobile workers about their perceptions of visual hacking when they’re working in public spaces. The 2017 study was based on interviews with a number of professional workers while they were at work in coffee shops, hotel lobbies, and other public spaces.
The survey shows that despite the fact that professional workers think the threat of visual hacking is real, they don’t do much to address it.
87% of mobile workers surveyed said they’ve caught a visual hacker looking over their shoulder.4 Maybe the other 13% just didn’t turn around fast enough.
3 out of 4 mobile workers surveyed said they were somewhat or very concerned about visual hacking.4 What is your company doing about it?
Don’t think visual hacking is a problem for your company? More than half of the mobile workers surveyed say they take no steps to protect important information while working in public spaces.4
Only half of the mobile workers surveyed said they were familiar with privacy protection solutions4.
4 Ponemon Institute, “Public Spaces Interview Study,” 2017, sponsored by 3M. Study based on responses from 46 professional mobile workers.
Coffee shops, hotel lobbies and airports are all high risk areas.