McAfee’s Digital Wellness Delivers Online Protection As An Employee Benefit

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The topic most top of mind today for HR professionals is keeping and acquiring great talent.  One of the most important elements of doing both is providing a desirable and meaningful set of employee benefits.   

Digital Wellness is a New Pillar in the Employee Benefits Space 

The idea of Digital Wellness isn’t exactly brand new, but the world we’ve lived in for the past few years has cemented it into one of the main pillars of employee benefits, joining the traditional big three of Financial, Mental and Physical Wellness.   

Employees Are Spending the Majority of Their Time Online 

One of the main reasons Digital Wellness has become essential is that so many people have had to both live and work exclusively online for an extended period of time – spending 8+ hours a day on personal things in addition to all those hours they spend working via the web. Things like banking, telehealth and shopping to name a few.  

  • 84% claim internet banking is the most important channel while interacting with their bank1
  • 75% have used telehealth services in the past 12 months2
  • 49% of consumers are buying online more3  and 41% of those are shopping daily or weekly via mobile or smartphone4

There’s almost no aspect of life that isn’t touched by the internet for most people, especially when adding their work environment into the mix.  

Remote Work Isn’t Going Away

In addition to all the regular life they live online, employees have become accustomed to working remotely, even if it’s just part of the time. 

  • 36.2 million workers are predicted to be working remotely by 2025 – an 87% increase
    from pre-pandemic levels5 
  • 59% of respondents in a study by Owl Labs said they would be more likely to choose an employer who offered remote work5
  • 32% said they would quit their job if they were not able to continue working remotely5 

With these kinds of stats, it’s hardly surprising that 74% of employers plan to maintain some sort of remote/hybrid workforce into the foreseeable future6   

Cybercriminals are Taking Full Advantage of All the Extra Traffic  

The digital world has become a veritable smorgasbord for hungry cyber criminals. In fact, there’s been a 400% increase in cybercrime just over the last couple of years7. To put it in perspective, here are a few sobering statistics that happen on a daily basis:  

  • 3 billion phishing emails are sent by scammers8 
  • 24,000 malicious mobile apps are blocked on average9
  • 6.85 million accounts are hacked10

Unfortunately, all this means that people are in a constant battle to protect themselves from cyber risk.  

When Employees are at Risk, Their Employers are at Risk 

With everyone going about their daily activities and working whenever and wherever they happen to be at the time, it’s probably no surprise that more than half of employees are using their personal devices for work11.  It’s just too convenient not to.  However, when you also realize that 95% of breaches are caused by human error12, this intersection between personal life and work-life becomes risky for both the employees and their employers.  It’s no wonder that companies with a large number of employees working remotely have seen a 24% increase in breaches since the pandemic began13. 

Cyber Risk has Placed Huge Financial Strains on Companies 

When companies’ networks are breached it causes their customers to be vulnerable, risking a huge blow to their reputation and invoking serious fines and penalties due to compliance failures.  And trying to get cyber insurance to protect against financial loss has become increasingly more difficult.  A recent article by the Wall Street Journal reported that cyber insurance premiums rose 92% in 2021 and the hoops companies have to jump through are much more stringent to be eligible for the coverage – things like providing cyber education and ensuring they’re taking stronger steps to protect their network and customer data14 

In addition to the direct financial impact of cyber threats, there’s also the loss of human capital.  It can take up to six months and up to 200 hours of a person’s time to address and correct identity theft15. If employees are focusing on digital healing, it’s a fair bet they’re not focusing as closely on their work. 

To Achieve Digital Wellness, Employees – and Their Employers, Need Two Things 

Preventative care is the first step toward Digital Wellness, and it consists of three, simple parts. 

  1. Knowledge is power as they say, so cyber education is key.  For example, if an employee can identify those 3 billion phishing emails sent daily, they are much less likely to be wooed into clicking on dangerous links, and if they understand how important it is to create strong and unique passwords, they can help protect themselves even if they’re found in a data breach. 
  2. Ward off threats by installing device protection to safeguard people’s access points to the internet. This means protecting all devices (PCs, Macs, smartphones, tablets, and smart home devices) against digital dangers like viruses/malware, unsecured network connections (thanks but no thanks, random coffeeshop Wi-Fi!), and spoofed/unsafe websites.  
  3. Take back control of employees’ privacy and data. How? It can be done by doing things like installing a virtual private network (VPN) that encrypts unsecured Wi-Fi networks to make them safe from prying eyes, proactively monitoring the dark web for identity breaches and by identifying and cleaning up all the unneeded profiles that have been piling up over the years. 

Restorative care is the second step in the Digital Wellness journey.  If a digital threat sneaks through even after all the careful preventive care, it’s important to quickly remedy the situation. 

  1. Kick uninvited cyber criminals out as soon as they’ve been discovered by removing viruses, malware, ransomware, etc. from each infected device as rapidly as possible.  
  2. Identity stolen? Do a credit freeze then work on restoring your reputation by combating things like fraudulent unemployment claims, unauthorized lines of credit and unlawful home title transfers. 
  3. Leverage financial restoration options to fix your damaged credit score and make your pocketbook whole again through cyber breach insurance. 

It’s Never Been More Important to Offer a Digital Wellness Solution as an Employee Benefit 

Great benefits that have real meaning for employees are key to helping retain and acquire amazing talent.  Providing an all-in-one and easy-to-use Digital Wellness solution designed to safeguard against compromised devices, privacy leaks, identity theft and other frustrating, time-consuming issues not only provides peace of mind for employees but also directly – and positively, impacts a company’s bottom line.  Choosing a trusted cyber protection solution like McAfee for your Digital Wellness benefit will give your employees a brand they love and your company the advantage of 30+ years of experience protecting people from digital threats.   

For more information on McAfee Digital Wellness, visit www.mcafee.com/employee-benefits-info or send an email to EmployeeBenefits@McAfee.com.  

Footnotes –  

  1. Capgemini and Efma, World Retail Banking Report 2021 
  2. 2021 McAfee Consumer Research Emerging Tech Trends Survey, December 2021 
  3. McAfee’s 2020 Holiday Season: State of Today’s Digital e-Shopper survey 
  4. PWC December 2021 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey 
  5. Statistics on Remote Workers that Will Surprise You – May 11, 2022
  6. Gartner CFO Survey 2020 
  7. The Hill. “FBI seeks spike in cybercrime reports during coronavirus pandemic.” April 2020 
  8. Zdnet.com – “Three billion phishing emails are sent every day. But one change could make life much harder for scammers” March 2021
  9. TechJury- “How Many Cyber Attacks Happen Per Day in 2022?” May 2022 
  10. 4. WCNC Charlotte – “How strong is your password? A professional hacker says probably not strong enough” June 2021 
  11. IBM – Work from Home Study, 2020 
  12. The Wall Street Journal. “Human Error Often the Culprit in Cloud Data Breaches.” August 2019 
  13. Gartner. “Designing Security for Remote-Work First Enterprises” 
  14. Wall Street Journal “Cyber Daily: Cyber Insurance Became Much Pricier in 2021” May 2022 
  15. The Economist – “How to protect yourself against the theft of your identity

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