The digital age has begun to bring some change to the workplace, allowing more and more people to work remotely and not be entirely office bound. The benefits are clear: lower overheads for the business, increased productivity and for the staff, greater job satisfaction.
There is one thing, though, that does present a rather large downside to the work from home scenario: cyber security. Not only is the security of a home network something to be considered, but networks in public places (like coffeeshops, hotels and airports) are far more vulnerable to cyber attack. And malware picked up in the public arena can easily be transported back to the business network.
“We cannot stress security enough. The biggest threats to a business network can come from someone’s home network, which is more vulnerable. We live in an age where we can bring our own devices to work, where we can work from home or anywhere for that matter. However, this poses a real risk to the business if security has in any way been compromised in these arenas outside the office,” says Indi Siriniwasa, Trend Micro’s Vice President, Sub-Saharan Africa.
Many people don’t have the right kind of security for their home routers, which makes access easier for cyber criminals. Because the router is the hub of all connected devices, it is at risk of attack. What’s of great concern is that employees may unwittingly bring an infected device into the work place, which in turn can place the business’s network at risk.
“It is vital in today’s digital environment that we remember how often breaches occur and it’s crucial for IT admins and CISOs to be aware that at-home use can potentially bring threats into the workplace,” Siriniwasa warns.
Educating employees on the risks involved is a first step, however, ensuring that the home network is correctly configured is important. Employees also need to use strong passwords that would be difficult to guess. Making sure that all the necessary updates to the system is, of course, prudent and can help patch the exploitable vulnerabilities that may exist in a home network.
“It may sound like common sense, but it’s something we sometimes don’t consider: make sure your home network is as secure as you can possibly get it. This is especially important in an age where we bring our work home with us, or we work remotely. Security is paramount when it comes to a home network,” concludes Siriniwasa.