Top 5 Cyber Security Risks of Working from Home

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The trend of working from home began during the pandemic era and has since persisted. Working from home offers flexibility and reduces travel time, which can be great for work-life balance. But it also brings up a whole set of cybersecurity problems. It is difficult for an IT team to control security measures when many employees rely on personal networks, occasionally their own devices, new online tools, and distractions.

Working from home is the preferred working arrangement for many employees, even after the pandemic. However, it becomes crucial to set aside some time to review your security procedures and make sure everything is secure. 

We have gathered the top cyber security risks to look out for while working from home. 

  1. Use of “Free” Online Tools 

Let’s face it: even when the risk is unavoidable, we prefer things when they are free. With an increased reliance on technology and online tools, businesses are far more susceptible to cyber threats. 

Sending emails, editing spreadsheets with crucial company data, instant messages, and many other tasks are completed online using cloud storage. The use of third-party services and tools, such as Teams, Zoom, Hangout, and numerous other free online tools, ostensibly gives cyber criminals more access points to company accounts and provides them with more opportunities to hack their data. 

  1. Less secured Home network connection 

Unsecured personal networks are one of the main causes of cyber security risks associated with working from home. Home router software updates are frequently neglected, which results in security lapses that could cause data breaches.

Firewalls protect the company’s entire network, allowing for traffic monitoring and blocking malicious activity. Numerous home routers lack a firewall, which may result in potential security holes in the network. 

  1. Employees take the bait of scams 

One of the biggest security risks of working from home comes from employees, who may unintentionally give hackers access to company files or their devices out of carelessness, exhaustion, or ignorance. 

Cybercriminals are very smart as they always adapt and improve ways to scam people and steal their data, so at some level, we cannot completely blame the employees if they fall for a well-orchestrated scam.

Due to the employees’ lack of cybersecurity knowledge, the number of scams and phishing emails has increased exponentially since the pandemic. 

  1. Phishing and ransomware 

Cybercriminals create scams like phishing and ransomware to trick victims into sharing sensitive information or downloading malicious software onto their devices. 

Since the pandemic, phishing emails and ransomware have become more prevalent, and employees are becoming victims of these pitfalls. 

So how phishing do email function? It operates by a criminal posing as a trustworthy source, typically via email, to coerce the victim into disclosing sensitive information or login credentials. Then, the criminals will steal or lock up this information and demand a ransom. 

  1. Is Your Password Weak? 

Even if your company uses the best firewalls, VPNs, and security programs, your business may still be at risk from an employee’s side if they use a weak password to protect their accounts.

Cybercriminals won’t even attempt to breach a secure infrastructure if it is robust; instead, they will work to compromise accounts with potentially weak passwords. They use various tools, including password generators and coding bots, to check accounts for repeat passwords and continuously try to guess passwords.

Closing Thoughts

There will be real risks unless and until management, technical staff, and staff are working toward the same goals in terms of security standards, policies, and expectations. There is an opportunity to mitigate certain threats and vulnerabilities.

The issue is not working from home; rather, it is the inability of employees to work solely for the sake of working without considering the company’s future. It becomes the responsibility of everyone to find where the gaps are, what needs to be fixed, and how to fix them.

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