People are taking all sorts of risks while working from home

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We are currently being drowned in a sea of survey results, as firms wrap up the year and reflect on the last 12 months.

A set of results that caught our eye was from cybersecurity training and awareness firm KnowBe4.

The data we’re looking at comes from a survey of 881 respondents in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritius and Botswana. The survey sought to find how respondents in those nations viewed cybersecurity and the risks COVID-19 brought to the fore.

What that survey reveals is that many people still aren’t fully aware of what risks are out there and many aren’t even aware what some risks are.

Take for instance a Trojan. Off the top of your head can you describe what a Trojan is?

If you can’t don’t feel too bad, as 31.5 percent of South African respondents had no idea what a Trojan is. For interest sake, those 31.5 percent of respondents thought a Trojan encrypts your files and demands payment.

“For organisations, it has become critical that they train employees on security best practices and the various methodologies used by cybercriminals,” explains senior vice president of content strategy at KnowBe4 Africa, Anna Collard (pictured).

“People need more help in learning about cyber threats, especially since 50% are continuing to work from home. Employee training is one of the most important defence mechanisms – employees need to learn how to spot social engineering and phishing attacks, understand why weak passwords put them at risk, and how multi-factor authentication works. They should also learn how to protect their home networks and what to do in the event of a security incident,” Collard explained further.

Rather worryingly, KnowBe4 found that if asked to divulge personal information, 7 percent of respondents would do so if there was a reward. As many as 6 percent said they “do it all the time” which is frightening.

Other scary stats include:

  • 20 percent of respondents have forwarded spam or hoax emails along
  • 30 percent of respondents have clicked on a phishing email
  • 33.41 percent have fallen for a con artist’s scam
  • 52.7 percent have had a virus on their PC
  • 52 percent of respondents could not define ransomware

With 24 percent of respondents also indicating that they were affected by cybercrime while working from home, this is very concerning.

There is, however, some good news.

“This year, respondents were even more concerned about cybercrime compared with 2019, with the number rising by 10 percent to 47.61 percent. Across all eight countries, there’s a growing awareness of the risks that come with cybercrime,” says Collard.

But awareness is not just arrived at, there must be investment from firms into staff when it comes to cybersecurity education. This is even more important than ever as KnowBe4 found that 50 percent of respondents will continue working from home in the future.

How that training happens with so many folks working from home is something decision makers are going to have to consider over the Festive Season.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.