Homeworking creates new opportunities for cyber criminals, research finds

The rise in homeworking caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created new vulnerabilities for criminals to exploit, according to research from cyber experts CyberCube and insurance broker Aon.

According to the report, homeworking has exposed new access points for cyber criminals to gain entry to corporate systems, including domestic PCs, laptops and Wi-Fi routers.

It has also led to a diminution in employees' distinction between work and personal emails and an increase in the use of devices with insecure passwords. 

According to the research, workers based at home are more likely to use online applications that would be prohibited in the corporate environment due to security concerns.

Criminals have also exploited the public's need for information on COVID-19 to create a range of social media and text message attacks, particularly in those countries worst affected by the virus.

Jon Laux, Head of Cyber Analytics at Aon, said: 'The lesson this report draws is that cyber security at home is a different animal to cyber security in the workplace. Organisations are going to have to think more laterally. They'll need to be more user-centric with a particular focus on employees' own devices and the cloud-based applications they use.

'The traditional approach to cyber security must be replaced by something that recognises users will operate in a decentralised and remote fashion. For large organisations, that's going to create a lot of change management to handle.'

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