Employees Lack Cyber Protection In Lockdown

The effects of the Coronavirus epidemic has blurred the distinction between work and private life for many new remote workers and the shared technology that connects both brings increasing threats to our cybersecurity. 

Part of the problem is security processes that come as second nature in the office environment can easily be forgotten at home, especially when using your own devices. Working from home has boomed during the coronavirus outbreak, but a new survey reports that 73 percent of employees had not received cybersecurity guidance for remote working.

Phishing emails related to COVID-19, increased spam, connecting to compromised WiFi spots and the use of shadow IT by employees were some of the threats and risks of homeworking identified by the survey, which interviewed 6,000 people around the world. 

Accidentally downloading malicious content from an email could lead to devices being infected and business data being compromised.

While it is primarily an employer’s responsibility to ensure that its business can safely continue remotely, employees also have a part to play. Using strong passwords and making use of two-factor authentication for all devices and accounts is a good starting point.

In order to promote secure remote working the experts at Kaspersky recommend that employees know who to contact when facing a security issue, employers should pay special attention to employees who had to work from personal devices and provide them with dedicated policy and security recommendations. 

Also very importantly they should schedule basic security awareness training online, and cover essential practices such as switching on password protection, encrypting work devices and ensuring data was backed up. “The need for teleworking is proliferating amid COVID-19, and getting momentum with the exponential escalation of infected cases and mortalities around the world,” Muhammad Khurram Khan, a cyber security professor at King Saud University in Riyadh, told Arab News.

Home networks were often less secure than internal networks of organisations and could put employees at greater risk of cyber-attacks, with the majority of people never being trained to work remotely in a secure manner during an unexpected situation, added Khan, who is also the founder and CEO of the Global Foundation for Cyber Studies & Research.

Organisations forced to work remotely due to COVID-19 are risking unprecedented cyber security threats from malicious actors.​

Business organisations were more focused on improving the technology and processes while overlooking the human aspect, which was considered to be the weakest link in the security chain. Statistics showed that an alarming percentage of data breaches occurred as a result of human error and the negligence of basic cyber security practices and awareness, he said, so cybersecurity should be considered a critical business issue. 

An effective cyber security awareness program and guidelines specifically designed for teleworking could help reduce the risk of cyber threats aimed at exploiting the human element.

Khan suggested that organisations train and educate their employees about good cyber hygiene practices such as keeping all software up to date, installing a home firewall and antivirus software, using secure Wi-Fi, choosing strong passwords, enabling multi-factor authentication, backing up data regularly, being wary of COVID-19 scams. 

  • They should also report any suspicious incidents, and being vigilant of all unsolicited emails and attachments, which could contain malicious software or could be used for phishing scams.
  • Many workers are significantly more stressed and anxious than normal. This can increase vulnerabilities and could leave workers more susceptible to scams.
  • Remote workers need to be alert to phishing emails and avoid sharing personal or financial information with an unknown source.

Verdict:         INews:       Arab News

For a cost-effective  Cyber Audit Report on your organisation’s cyber security and cyber training please contact Cyber Security Intelligence and we will recommend the right cyber training and audit for your organisation. 

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