June 5, 2020 by Adam Malik
Cybersecurity has become an afterthought for commercial clients amid the coronavirus pandemic, with companies not implementing enough safeguards for employees working from home, a new report warns.
Not only are few companies providing employees with company devices so that they can safely work from home during the coronavirus pandemic, but even fewer are providing employees with guidance on how to work securely on their personal devices, according to the report from cybersecurity company Kaspersky.
Those working for smaller businesses (57%) were less likely to receive a company device for working remotely from home compared to those employed by companies of different sizes (45%), according to the survey, How COVID-19 changed the way people work.
Nearly three-quarters (73%) of employees said they’ve received no additional security awareness training after they made the move to work from home full-time. The survey also found that only one-third of small business staff (34%) reported being given any IT security requirements in order to use their personal devices — be it a personal computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone — securely while working.
Kaspersky noted such recommendations could include that staff:
It’s important for employers to give these types of instructions to their staff, Kapersky noted, because 35% of small business employees reported that they’re now storing more valuable corporate information on their home devices. Twenty-five percent said they’re also using personal cloud storage systems to keep information.
Furthermore, 27% of respondents said they’ve received a malicious email related to COVID-19 while working from home. “Scammers may be trying to prey on worried workers who want to learn more about the coronavirus pandemic, as well as potentially vulnerable corporate networks while staff are stuck at home,” the report said.
It’s not a big surprise that cybersecurity becomes an afterthought in times like this, said Andrey Dankevich, senior product marketing manager for B2B product marketing at Kaspersky. The pandemic has backed companies into a corner, as they look for ways to survive a potential downturn, and so their first thought is how to keep the business running and staff employed.
“However, implementing even basic IT security requirements can decrease the chances of malware infection, compromised payments or lost business data,” Dankevich said. “Moreover, there are plenty of recommendations already given by cybersecurity experts that businesses can share with their employees to help them keep their devices safe. And of course, the requirements should be followed not only during home isolation but continued when staff work remotely in the future.”
Kaspersky provided the following tips for employers to protect employees working from personal devices:
Feature image by iStock.com/matejmo