For the last few months, the vast majority of us have been working from home. Often, at the kitchen table or in spare rooms, which were hastily repurposed into makeshift offices, using our own personal computers and wifi. When the world locked down earlier this year, computer security was far from the front of most people’s mind. But with the return to the office looming for workforces globally, experts are worried that businesses are ill-prepared for the heightened security risks.
These risks have been growing in severity year upon year, with 2019 being one of the worst years on record for attacks and breaches. Cybercriminals are constantly evolving, deploying sophisticated techniques to infiltrate corporate computer systems, with the next target being, experts believe, the returning workforce. And when the average cost of a data breach stands at $3.86 million, enough to collapse many firms, this is a very worrying thought for business leaders across the globe.
“Cybercriminals are no fools. They understand employee environments and target attacks specifically in areas of vulnerability”, says Stephen Burke, CEO and Co-Founder of Cyber Risk Aware. “We saw this with the huge spike of phishing attacks themed around both Covid19 and working from home and it will continue to evolve as workforces change their working practice once again.” At an international level, United Nations officials warn that cybercrime is on the rise, with a 600% increase in malicious emails during the current crisis.
This vulnerability comes down to many remote workers working without the necessary security in place. In the office, computers are patched together, with ICT experts and antivirus software on hand to see off any potential data breaches or phishing emails, acting as a safety net for employees. But with computers used for remote working likely having been shared with family members, possibly visiting insecure websites or installing insecure software, confidential company data isn’t safe. When every employee has access to 17 million files on…