Nearly three-quarters of remote workers are waiting for cybersecurity guidance from employers

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As more people grapple with the demands of remote working, a recent global report from Kaspersky points to the fact that more needs to be done on the part of employers and organisations utilising a work from home strategy.

The security software firm specifically notes that 73 percent of the 6 000 remote workers surveyed stated that they are awaiting guidance or assistance from employers when it comes to cybersecurity.

As Kaspersky has pointed out previously, ever since lockdown restrictions were enforced, the fact that more people are working from home has resulted in a greater number of attacks from hackers looking to take advantage of the situation.

“While it can be more difficult to control the security of corporate IT and data remotely, threats still remain,” according to Kaspersky.

The firm acknowledges that the costs and logistical elements in securing a workforce operating from many different locations is challenging, but failing to do also brings about several risks for organisations too.

“Establishing effective cybersecurity measures is therefore critical, as remote working may also bring new risks such as increased spam and phishing attacks, connecting to compromised Wi-Fi spots, or the use of shadow IT by employees,” it adds.

In terms of the types of attacks that Kaspersky is seeing target remote workers at the moment, unsurprisingly phishing emails containing something to do with COVID-19 have been reported by more than a quarter of those surveyed.

“For example, one-in-four (27%) employees say they have received phishing emails related to COVID-19. To avoid such risks, it is important for organisations to educate staff about cybersecurity,” Kaspersky points out.

Many employees have also increased the use of online services for work that were not approved by their IT departments, which too is creating potential avenues for cyberattacks, known as shadow IT. These include videoconferencing platforms like Zoom at 70 percent, instant messaging like WhatsApp at 60 percent and file storage services sitting at 53 percent, according to the survey.

As such a greater collaborative effort needs to be undertaken in order to safeguard against any remote working cybersecurity threats.

“It is hard to keep things ‘business as usual’ when everything needs to change so dramatically. While employees are trying to get along with the new reality of working from home, IT and cybersecurity teams are under pressure to enable them to continue working safely,” adds  Andrey Dankevich, senior product marketing manager at Kaspersky.

“Cyber-incidents can only add difficulties to this challenge, so it is important to remain vigilant and make sure remote working is also secure working,” he concludes. 

To read Kaspersky’s report in full, head here (PDF).

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.