In only one year, home offices have become a common thing. As worldwide governments tried to reduce the movement of COVID-19 in their own country, they encouraged anybody that could do their work from home, to do so. That seemed quite inoffensive at the time, but looking back, we now know that it came at a high security cost. Here are some of the threats that you and the company you work for, may be facing if you work from home.
Saving Data Externally
Before we even move into the various threats awaiting you on the Internet, let’s insist on one very basic problem, that is too often forgotten by home workers. When you are sitting at your desk, in the company’s office, you don’t worry about data storage. It’s normal, since that is not your job. However, somebody does. Normally, today, the back-up of data is often automatized, so that it can’t be forgotten. Therefore, every time someone enters information on their computer at work, in a file, it is being immediately doubled on a back-up drive.
When you work from home, anything that you create, which is not saved on your computer at work, can be lost, if you don’t take the time to make a copy. That is why you need to keep an external memory at hand, to copy the files. Most companies these days have personalized USB sticks that they hand out to their employees, in order for them to save their work, at the end of the work day. It is the easiest way to be safe. Otherwise, if the computer does not open-up the next morning, all the work could be lost, which would represent a lot of money and information gone for the company and serious problems for you.
The Issues caused by using Personal Devices
The greatest security threat that comes from working at home, is generally the fact that we use our personal devices. A computer built for personal use, compared to one created for a worker by the firm that employs him, is greatly different. When a company provides you with a PC, they have included all kind of security and protection software, inside it. It starts with a VPN and goes on with a variety of remote working technology programs, that guarantees the safety of the user, as well as of the company’s servers. Chances are, it is not the case with your personal computer.
The risks also come from the various uses you make of it. When you are working on a company PC, you will only enter the internet through their server and receive e-mails on your company account. They are all very well secured. But on your own computer, you will also check private e-mails, which can download viruses and corrupting software. You can also go online to shop or visit a wide variety of websites, which some of them could end-up being dangerous for your PC. And if they are, then they can also corrupt the link you have with the company, creating serious issues inside their servers.
The New COVID-19 Risks
It’s a well-known fact that criminals are always on the look-out for new developments that could help them gain from others. The sanitary crisis was the perfect opening for some of them, who decided to use this as an entry door into the private world of internet users. By exploiting people’s fears of this illness, they were able to insert malware into their computers. Then, they used that breach for phishing. They have done so by entering the easiest way possible: By sending messages about coronavirus issues that led people to open e-mails and messages containing a virus.
Because home PCs are not as well protected as business computers in work offices, the job at hand was much easier for these criminals, to enter and do their bad deeds. These ranged from stealing data, which we have been made aware of lately through the news, as many hospitals, and the European Medicines Agency, have been hacked. Recently, in France, millions of patients have seen their medical file appear on the dark web, free for all criminals to use in a malicious way. But this is just the start of the problems, as many of the hacks will serve in future uses, and are currently unknown to those who have been hacked.
Educating Home Workers
One of the biggest problems that companies are facing, with home workers, is to educate them sufficiently. They need to protect themselves efficiently, so that the company data are stored safely. It was already difficult to do so, when they were all working from the office, but with them sitting in their living room or at their kitchen counter, the task at hand has become almost impossible. Therefore, it is up to each home worker to read and learn on how to raise the security level at their home office, if they don’t want to face serious problems, in the days to come.