With many countries participating in social distancing and “shelter in place” directives, remote workers are subjecting themselves and their employer to a number of risks. Find out why.
Ok – by now, everyone already knows: stay home. So, if you’re working from home, you’ve already experienced some of the challenges around finding a quiet place to have calls, the struggle to maintain a resemblance of a work schedule, and attempting to fend off the distractions of kids, significant others, and whatever you’re currently binge watching on Netflix. All the while, most of us are feeling the tension and anxiety of trying not to fall sick with the coronavirus.
Amid all this, there’s a few other changes that put yourself and your employer at risk of a number of cyberattacks. These include:
- Blending personal and work surfing – This goes beyond you checking your email or doing some quick banking on your work computer; The sheer lack of schedule that any of us have causes some to work at all hours and, equally, a lot of personal surfing mixed in. While studies have shown the work/life balance makes workers more productive, it also means that any succumbing to cyberattack – be it phishing drive-by downloads, malware-laden websites, malicious links, etc. – will infect the same machine you use to log onto corporate resources on the web.
- Lowered defenses – You’re in your pajamas half the day, working in a semi-prone position on the couch. Let’s face it: protecting the organization’s data and using best security practices is the last thing on your mind.
- You Overshare – it’s an emotional time for us all. And nowhere do people emote today more than on Social Media. The sharing of work and personal details can be potentially be used by cybercriminals who use this information as part of their diligence targeting you as a potential victim.
- You’re Lonely – My single friends are still participating in online dating. While there’s no meeting in person, there’s still online connections, chats, and phone calls. We’ve talked about romance scams before; if you’re lonely enough, online dating is a great vehicle for scammers to take advantage of you.
This all boils down to one simple truth: the stresses and unique situation this virus has put us all in can create an environment in which the employee is less than vigilant.
Organizations need to continue with Security Awareness Training during times like these to reinforce the shared responsibility of users in the organization to participate in organizational security. Without it, each employee is going to following the all-too-similar path of getting way too comfortable at home and putting away thoughts of keeping themselves and the organization secure.