Worried about the dangers of working from home for cybersecurity during the pandemic? Record numbers of employees are working from home for the time being, with a whopping 42 percent of the U.S. labor force now working remotely full-time. And as homes become offices, we are all using new systems and cybersecurity can get lost in the mix.
The boundaries between work and home life are breaking down, while business is being conducted over home ISPs with children and partners sharing devices and listening in on work conversations while working for different organizations. At the same time, new security threats are on the rise, with new cybersecurity scams that attack us while we are vulnerable and prey on our need to buy supplies and avoid infection. This means that it’s time to rethink our approach to cybersecurity during this time.
The dangers of working from home
It’s important to keep in mind that while you can reduce your organization’s risks to cybersecurity, you cannot eliminate all risks. Here are the four biggest dangers of working from home for cybersecurity that your company should address during the pandemic:
- Hackers can manipulate VPNs. Your business is likely using a virtual private network, or VPN, at this time to extend your encrypted network to the homes of your employees. But one of the dangers of working from home is that many home networks are already infected with malware or compromised hardware that can be exploited for cyberattacks. Hackers can use these compromised machines to piggyback through the VPN, so it is super important to have strong authentication and endpoint integrity checking when the VPN is active.
- Endpoint first, then mobile. There are certainly a number of endpoint challenges, but your first priority should be to make sure that any important business processes recover. Then you should focus on mobile. Your employees are likely turning to their phones even more so than normal, especially if they are learning new applications and devices, because their phones feel familiar. We recommend establishing policies about what your employees can and cannot do with their mobile phones to get ahead of mobile threats.
- Information can be weaponized. Another common danger of working from home is that hackers are using this time to take advantage of human weaknesses. Hackers have begun creating malicious mobile apps that pose as legitimate ones like the World Health Organization and steal sensitive data once the app is installed. These attacks weaponize information and tools during a time when the whole world is going through a shared health crisis.
If you are worried about the dangers of working from home and interested in cybersecurity software that can help protect your company and your data while your employees are working remotely, then reach out to Havoc Shield!