Need of Cyber security for Work From Home (WFH)
There are plenty of pros and cons of both, working from home (WFH) and Working from office. Irrespective of these pros and cons, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed a large number of people to their home desks. Remote working environments enabled a lot of industries to sustain in such an economic slowdown. This being said, such WFH set ups were established very hastily. The increasing shift to remote working environments has led to an increase in cyber risks for employees as well as the organizations.
The companies’ on-premise technology, software and infrastructure partly shifted to employees’ personal working spaces. Firewall, antivirus and network & IP which protected the company’s data, will not be at full capacity at the employees’ personal work spaces. Though such domains and software might be used which protect the data, they do not provide sufficient protection as compared to the ones used on site.
Importance of Cyber Security for WFH
- Rise in Breach of Cyber Security:
In 2019, when the pandemics and its effects had not even peaked out there was an increase in breaches by 33%. Offices usually have an IT or a technical department working constantly towards internet security against online scams and phishing. Investigations by Verizon Data Breach depicts that 32% of breaches involved phishing. Phishing breach is when one receives an email which is a scam and has an unsecure source to extract sensitive information – from login details, secret data, logs, finances etc. Such mails are usually sent by portraying as though the sender is a trusted individual.
- Rise in cybercrimes due to weak Cyber Security at Home Office Environment:
WFH has enlarged the scope for hackers to breach the below par cyber protection at homes. Attacks like Phishing, DDoS and Ransomware are on the rise. 25% of individuals working from home have reported a higher rate of fraudulent activities.
- Hackers Getting Better:
Cyber Security must keep up with the growth of hackers. Business has shifted online; daily working environments have changed. Individuals do not necessarily know their colleagues personally. So hackers have started impersonating employees, team members, superiors etc. and sending malicious mail which could help in hacking and gaining access to confidential data. For this purpose, the software and domains created should run through a beta test where the ethical hackers try to breach and attempt to gain access to sensitive company information.
- Larger Playing Field for Hackers:
Companies, Organizations and even educational institutions shifted online hastily to keep the business running. This meant the subpar infrastructure at homes will be used to communicate and transfer sensitive information. All the work-related communications too have gotten replaced by electronic modes of communication. So overall the online traffic has seen a boom. This communication and work might not necessarily be limited to one geographic location, which is why employees might access the domain from different locations, different time zones and also from countries where cyber laws are not competent enough to cope during such volatile times. This shift to digital platforms was at such a large number that it has led to higher chances of getting intercepted by hackers.
- Below par Cyber Security Resources:
As discussed above, the shift to WFH has been a hasty one. Coping up with change and adapting to digitized working models has been a difficult task for organizations. In an ideal case the said transition should have had the latest technology which is evolving.
Along with up-to-date technology, WFH set-ups should have had reliable firewalls, high-spec hardware, a secure data management system and a good internet connection. These are absent or are not up to the mark at a WFH set up. For corporations as well, installing such a setup individually in a number of households would be costly and the working would be halted until it is completed.
- Lack of Awareness:
Non technology driven based organizations and also the non IT based departments in an organization faced problems to adapt with the sudden shift to digitization that took place all over the world. The pandemic forced people to learn technology, but literacy about cyber security took a backseat. When working from home, there are lesser workshops or seminars which are held more often in offices to provide cyber security literacy. This is why individuals lack the awareness of the modes to protect their devices and software from any breach. At the office, the employees have quick access to the technical team and vise-versa to solve cyber security issues. Employees working from home need training and education about cyber security and its tools such as firewall, antivirus, spam detector etc.
Since COVID-19 the organizations are still trying to adapt to change. Hacking had already been on the rise in 2019, and with the pandemic coming in the picture the employees had to shift to the home set-ups making their software’s and devices even more prone to hacking. Thus, the companies cannot afford to drop their guard when it comes to protecting their information.