With one in three UK workers currently based at home, this remote working on a vast scale continues to be a major headache for the IT security bosses of companies large and small around the world. Studies have also shown that many firms are not taking the issue as seriously as they should. For example, one in five UK home workers has received no training on cyber-security
A senior computer network manager for a global financial services company, Peter (who did not want to give his surname, or the name of his employer, due to his firm's anxieties surrounding cyber-security), says they are bombarded from all directions.
"We see everything," he says. "Staff get emails sent to them pretending to be from the service desk, asking them to reset their log-in passwords. We see workers being tricked into downloading viruses from hackers demanding ransoms, and we have even had employees sent WhatsApp messages pretending to be from the CEO, asking for money transfers."
The report also found that two out of three employees who printed potentially sensitive work documents at home admitted to putting the papers in their bins without shredding them first.
So what can both companies and home working staff do to make things as safe and secure as possible? Ted Harrington, a San Diego-based cyber-security specialist, says firms should have started by giving all home workers a dedicated work laptop. While many larger companies may well have done this, not all smaller firms necessarily have the resources to do so, but Mr Harrington stresses its importance."Supply staff with laptops and other equipment that are owned, controlled and configured by the company," he says. "This alleviates the burden on your people to set things up right, and ensures they follow the security controls the company wants."
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