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When it comes to telework security, most fall short

The switch to a Work From Home (WFH) world happened swiftly--so fast, in fact, most companies probably didn't have time to consider the ramifications for remote worker security. So while we changed direction to keep our staff and customers safe, many of us put the security of our businesses at the bottom of the list. A recent study of 6,000 teleworkers worldwide found that 73% of them didn't have security awareness training or guidance from their employers since the switch to working from home. The implications of that are profound, particularly when the same study found that over a quarter of those workers had received a phishing email about the pandemic. As our security experts at Locknet® Managed IT have told you in the past, a company's greatest resource: employees, is also its greatest security risk. In the haste of our switch to teleworking, that security risk becomes heightened, a potentially perfect storm for network breaches. If you haven't thought at all about telework security to this point, let's continue the conversation. Because the risks of a sluggish cybersecurity plan are many.

Additional risks: devices, vulnerabilities

The Kaspersky report on how COVID-19 changed work encompasses more than training, though the findings about employee training are significant. Fact is, the switch to a remote workforce has presented additional challenges for IT and network security teams. Remember, as a company you can always partner with a reputable network security team like Locknet® Managed IT to assist you and shore up your protection against cyberattacks.

Here is a closer look at some of the findings of the study.

A wide array of devices, and few policies

Devices can leave an open door to hackers. So how are companies dealing with the switch to WFH, as it relates to device use? The study found that more than have of employers (55%) provided devices for staff who were working from home. Yet 68% of respondents reported using their personal computer to conduct company business. And half reported that the businesses they worked for had no policies regulating the use of personal devices for company business. It is important to note that just over half of respondents said they used a VPN when working from their home office.

Vulnerabilities abound

Among study participants, as alluded to above, 27% reported they had received malicious emails related to COVID-19. This is not surprising, as we've discussed in previous posts the widespread prevalence of these phishing emails. Some companies have taken viruses seriously, according to the study, with 32% installing antivirus software for use on personal devices that staff utilize for work. And 86% of respondents said they had antivirus software installed on their personal computer.

Securing the work from home environment is essential

Vulnerabilities in the WFH environment must be addressed for companies to protect their interests for the long haul. So, what can you do? Communicate clearly with staff who they need to contact when they have a security or IT issue. Develop solid guidance for staff related to the use of personal devices and protocol for security events. Update all devices with the latest patches, and keep staff informed with regular security training. We can help you every step of the way to ensure this next chapter in your company's growth protects the integrity of your network and data.

Contact us to learn more about the many ways we can help your business shore up its network security, even when your employees are working remotely.

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