More Americans work from home now than ever before. That means a small business employee uses their own device or devices for work. But you may not be doing enough to ensure the security of those employees’ personal devices.
A survey commissioned by Kaspersky found just one-third of small businesses inform employees of personal device security requirements. Kaspersky, cyber security and anti-virus providers, analyzed this issue in a recent survey.
The research found 68% of respondents use their own devices to work from home. Despite more than two-thirds of homeworkers using personal devices, just a third receive instructions on how to work safely from personal devices.
Employee Device Security
Without adequate support on device security, company data on personal devices is more vulnerable to cyber attacks. For example, Kaspersky’s research found that 33% of respondents admit to visiting adult websites on the personal devices they use for work purposes. Visiting such sites makes PCs more vulnerable to cyber attacks, such as hacking data and installing malware.
Cyberattacks on Small Businesses on the Rise
Cyberattacks on small businesses are on the rise. So far in 2020, around a third of data breaches have involved small businesses. With more and more people working from home in the wake of the pandemic, small businesses are more exposed than ever to becoming victims of cyber crime.
With cybercrime on the rise, it is more important than ever small businesses don’t overlook cyber security and keeping homeworking practices safe. As Andrey Dankevich, senior product marketing manager for B2B Product Marketing at Kaspersky, comments:
“Small companies may be in difficult circumstances and their first priority is to save their business and employees during the lockdown, so it is no surprise that cyber security may become an afterthought.
“However, implementing even basic IT security requirements can decrease the chances of malware infection, compromised payments or lost business data. Moreover, there are plenty of recommendations already given by cybersecurity experts that businesses can share with their employees to help them keep their devices safe. And of course, the requirements should be followed not only during home isolation but continued when staff work remotely in the future,” Dankevich continued.
Importance of Connection
Concentrating on the types of devices an employee uses is not the only aspect of security small businesses should focus on.
Kasperly underlines the importance of connection and how remote workers are connecting to corporate networks. The research points to the need for employees to have access to internal systems and services. This requirement has led to businesses urgently installing remote desktop software, which cyber criminals love.
Connecting to a corporate network from home can make a business vulnerable to attacks due to other devices using the home router being inadequately protected.
IT Requirements to Keep Small Businesses Protected
To help protect small businesses from cyber crime when employees are working from home, Kaspersky advises companies to follow several IT requirements.
One requirement is it to ensure home devices are protected with an antivirus solution. Device operating systems should always be updated to the latest versions. Password protection should be switched on for all devices using home routers, including mobiles. Home WiFi connections should be encrypted, ideally with the WPA2 encryption standard.
Reliable Cloud Services and Security Training
Kaspersky recommends employers provide a list of reliable cloud storage services. Businesses should also carry out basic security awareness training. Such training can be done online. It should focus of the primary online safety practices including password management, email security and web browsing.