Cyber-risks: Data security issues from working from home

Posted Apr 30, 2020 by Tim Sandle
With more employees working from home, companies need to understand where security threats are coming from This is in light of many business leaders considering their employees the biggest security threat.
The Institute for Strategic Dialogue warned that "new actors are taking advantage of the lawles...
The Institute for Strategic Dialogue warned that "new actors are taking advantage of the lawlessness of the internet" to sow discord and potential political mayhem, fingering populist parties, far-right cyber militias and religious groups
Philippe HUGUEN, AFP/File
The cybersecurity risks facing businesses and the significant impact from data breaches, which have increased during the COVID-19 era, are indicated by the issues surrounding U.S. pharmaceutical giant ExecuPharm. The company has become the latest victim of data-stealing ransomware (where files are encrypted by hackers, and will only be unencrypted if a sum of money is paid, usually in the form of Bitcoins. Such risks have been compounded by more employees working from home.
Furthermore, according to new data, 54 percent of business leaders consider their employees the biggest security threat. These risk factors are followed by hackers (29 percent) or malicious insiders (20 percent). The least significant threats cited include government eavesdropping (11 percent) and lawful data requests (12 percent). The fact that an 'insider' threat has been identified in the top spot is a matter of concern for all types of organizations.
The data has been compiled by nCipher Security together with the Ponemon Institute (provided to Digital Journal), which found that protecting consumer personal information is the top driver for deploying encryption (54 percent), outranking compliance (at 47 percent).
With the issue of personnel non-compliance, employee mistakes can occur when well-intentioned people get tricked by a phishing email, or misconfigure an application for cloud computing thinking they have turned on encryption or a proper level of data protection either by mistake or lack of familiarity.
As things stand, people who normally work from home are probably already be vigilant about security concerns. However, those new to it may not have the best security practices. The vulnerability and risks grow with employees who don’t have a good work from home set up and need to rapidly deploy a set of tools to work remotely.