Second computer screens designed to boost productivity in offices are being used by workers to sneakily watch sports and music videos, experts warnJuly 5, 2019
Instead of boosting productivity, employees issued second computer screens likely use the extra monitor for non-work-related activities like streaming sports and music.
While the majority of firms now offer their workers the benefit of a second screen, 59 per cent of surveyed IT professionals believe this privilege is being abused.
Furthermore, over a third believe that the majority of their network’s internet traffic has no work-related purpose, placing strain on the company’s system and websites
Many of the IT administrators also reported that video streaming apps are a prime routes for malware to enter company networks.
Firms are advised to provide communal screens during popular sports events so employees are not tempted to individually stream games and hog the bandwidth.
The study was conducted by computing security firm Gigamon, who surveyed 217 IT professionals who attended the Infosecurity Europe 2019 event which was held at the Olympia London on June 4–6.
Gigamon found that 84 per cent of organisations today offer their employees a second computer screen to improve their productivity.
However 59 per cent of the IT professionals believe that the second screen are or could be being used for non work-related activities — such as streaming music or watching videos online.
‘Our study clearly shows that a lot of employees are using their screens to watch sporting events and stream music,’ said Gigamon security engineer Ollie Sheridan.
‘If companies do not have the internet bandwidth to handle this, customers visiting the company’s website could be impacted and their experience could be jeopardised.’
‘The second screen is a luxury, which companies may need to reconsider,’ he added.
The study also reports that 36 per cent of organisational IT professionals believe that more than half of their network’s internet traffic is not work-related.
In addition, 73 per cent do not have the infrastructure in place to handle the extra load that this traffic is placing on their IT system.
This strain can potentially trickle over to customer-facing websites, making them sluggish and reducing the quality of their user experience.
‘With so many employee personal devices being connected to corporate WiFi networks and people using their seconds screens to stream content, it is no wonder IT teams are struggling to cope,’ Mr Sheridan said.
Network administrators, he added, are advised to ‘implement technology which can scale to meet even the most demanding internet usage.’
‘Or they need to stop providing staff with second screens.’
The experts reported that during big sporting events, they expect employees to be streaming games — further increasing the pressure on networks even to the point of overloading them.
Alongside this, 17 per cent of the IT professionals reported that TV streaming apps are routes through which malware most often enters company networks.
‘During major sporting events, it is also advisable to use large TV screens for the whole office,’ Mr Sheridan suggested.
This allows staff to still catch up on games, he added, but encourages them ‘not to stream [games] individually or stream from illicit websites which could create security risks.’