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  • Writer's pictureJared Thompson

Remote Working is creating Cybersecurity Risks through Bad Habits

Whilst the adoption of businesses using the cloud during the coronavirus pandemic in the last 12 months has increased. We need to ensure this transition is secure for staff and businesses alike.

A new survey has found that remote working has increased the number of cybersecurity risks through bad habits, including children using work devices and poor passwords.

This YouGov survey included 2,000 UK employees on behalf of Scottish information technology and cloud computing company Iomart. The survey highlights the cybersecurity risks that can come from seemingly innocuous everyday behaviours in the home.

74% of respondents said that they don’t use different passwords

Do your staff have strong enough passwords?

74% of respondents said that they don’t use different passwords for different accounts, showing that only 20% of respondents used different passwords for all accounts they use.

The survey found that as we’ve all spent more time at home over the last 12 months, 25% of people allow their children to use their work devices. With 17% allowing children to use their work device for homeschooling and 7% to socialise with their friends (including online gaming).

It’s clear to see that many of us have been forced to blur the lines between our time whilst working from home and many of us have blurred the line in using work devices for personal use.

The rapid adoption of remote working practices during lockdown has created new challenges; we all need to ensure we are thinking of our long-term security should this remote working continue in the future.

Business leaders must review their device security and consider introducing stronger cyber security policies for staff.

The National Cyber Security Centre recommends that you set up new accounts and accesses so your staff can work safely. They should set up strong passwords and implement two-factor authentication if available.

Don’t forget to prepare and educate your staff about email scams; there has been an increase in hackers preying on the fears of the Covid-19 vaccine and the impersonation of senior staff members.

Ensure your staff are aware of 'phishing' emails that trick users into clicking on malicious links. If these emails are clicked, the user is sent to a website that could download malware onto their computer or steal account information and passwords.

You should also consider a fully patched VPN (Virtual Private Network) for users to access files and emails safely. VPNs create an encrypted network connection that authenticates devices and encrypts data in transit between the user and your services.

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