Staying Secure While WFH

30 April 2020 | Jose Carrera & Amira Khattab

The global outbreak of COVID-19 has forced extensive remote working processes abruptly into focus. By doing so, it has suddenly presented IT and Infosec leadership with a set of vulnerabilities that need to be addressed at a significantly larger scale and speed. Against this background, staff need not only to adapt to work-from-home (WFH) new habits but also to protect themselves from becoming a target for cybercriminals. As such, there has never been a greater need for robust cyber hygiene and cybersecurity practices for every employee.

In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the growing threat landscape:

  • Hacker success ratio: an increase in online presence and remote access translates in a higher number of users susceptible to cyber attacks
  • Exploitation of the pandemic: threat actors are adapting their operations to exploit people’s magnified stress levels and demands for assurance and direction from health authorities
  • Impoverished cyber safety education: a key threat to organisations during the crisis is emanating mainly from phishing and social engineering (NCSC, 2020) to work from home staff without proper cyber training or hygiene
  • When cybersecurity threats compound already difficult WFH conditions, including disrupted health and nutrition habits, job insecurity stress, flagging motivation, and technology setbacks, employees and companies suffer from significant anxiety and high risk of cyber-attacks.

Yet, with every great challenge comes great opportunity. At Digital14, we believe the current crisis is not just a situation that requires a swift and effective response to cybersecurity threats; we also see a unique catalyst to unlock the many potential benefits of developing a healthy and successful work-from-home model.

  • Increased productivity: remote workers enjoy 13% improvement in performance, due to working full shifts and increased concentration away from busy offices (Stanford, 2017)
  • Improved retention: over 30% of under-30s cited work-life balance as a key incentive when applying for jobs (WEF, 2017)
  • Closing the gender gap: organisations are able to tap on the 50% of the talent pool, by attracting (and retaining) highly skilled female workers
  • Reduced absenteeism: musculoskeletal and mental health can be enhanced, leading to a fall in absenteeism and medical days off (Forbes, 2017)

As personal cyber hygiene directly influences corporate cybersecurity, Digital14 has developed new training modules. These new, specialized set of explainer videos, e-learning training, and web-based instructor-led sessions help companies and employees safely and productively work from home.

Our mission is not only to ensure the most significant WFH cybersecurity but to enhance the overall WFH experience. Learn more at digital14.com/nurture or contact us.

Source: NCSC Advisory, Working From Home Security Advice, 2020; Professor Nicholas Bloom, Stanford University Research, 2017; WEF Global Shapers Community, Global Shapers Annual Survey 2017; Forbes, Benefits of Telecommuting for the Future of Work, July 2017

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