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Pretending device is updating? You’re not alone!

Almost one in eight employees in South Africa say they have pretended their devices were installing updates so they would not have to attend a call or meeting.

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Almost one in eight employees in South Africa say they have pretended their devices were installing updates so they would not have to attend a call or meeting. This excuse is plausible because software updates can disrupt workdays, with one-third (34%) of employees saying they have been late to a call because of updates. These are the findings of a recent study commissioned by Kaspersky to explore workers’ attitudes and habits toward updates.

Frequent meetings are often seen as one of the most unpleasant things in the office routine. The transition to remote work and virtual meetings hasn’t helped the issue, as people experienced fatigue from video calls and felt more tired at the end of the working day. As the recent Kaspersky research shows, some employees found an excuse to skip some of their calls – they pretended that their work devices were unavailable due to updates.

Their colleagues may believe the deception, as they could relate to the experience of needing to update a device themselves. In addition to missed appointments, 39% of employees locally have lost part of their unsaved work or data when their PC or laptop restarted after installing updates.

All in all, some employees see this device downtime as an opportunity to procrastinate, with 19% of respondents admitting that they have installed updates to deliberately waste time at work. Nevertheless, employees mostly don’t like it when their work is interrupted, so 73% wish updates happened outside of work hours to maintain their productivity.

“Typically, updates are downloaded during working hours in silent mode and do not affect a business,” says Egor Kharchenko, IT service and asset group manager at Kaspersky. “However, to apply them to the system, a restart is required. Of course, some business matters can’t be postponed, so usually a user can restart within a certain timeframe. As we can see, some people either miss such notifications or do not want to do this. Therefore, the required restart may happen at the most inconvenient moment – right before an important call or when they are writing a long email.”

To make updates convenient for employees and IT administrators, Kaspersky recommends IT departments do the following:

  • Plan updates closer to the end of the workday, when devices are still on and can download required updates, but employees’ activity is typically lower.
  • If possible, use wake-on-LAN. This technology allows workstations to be turned on through the network, so updates can be downloaded outside of working hours.
  • Divide users into several groups, including a test one. Update them one by one, so the IT department can help everyone in a timely manner if something goes wrong.
  • Inform the staff about the AutoSave function available in some office productivity software – it will automatically save all their changes.
  • Install an endpoint protection solution with patch management features, like Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business. Additionally, behaviour detection and exploit prevention technologies don’t allow malefactors to leverage unpatched security issues.

The full report is available from this link.

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