Cyber Security Risks when Working from Home

Cyber security risks are more present given the COVID-19 crisis. We now face increased cyber security risks working from home. Even large banks like ANZ are sending workers home.

These new remote working landscapes cross through home networks and use new communications. This includes staff using personal computers and smartphones. And home bound conference calls, complete with small children running through the background.
And it’s not networks alone. Our new remote communication tools may be huge cyber security risks. Recent security flaws found in video-conferencing software Zoom have exemplified this.
Increased social isolation has led to an overlap between Cyber crime and COVID-19.
Opportunistic cyber criminals are selling fake COVID-19 cures. And creating phishing and spear-phishing emails. Not to mention turning online pandemic resources into malicious spyware tools.

So, what are the biggest cyber security risks when working from home?


Hackers Piggybacking through the VPN:

A decentralised workforce means corporate VPN’s need increased security. The best way to shore up your VPN is to make sure it has been recently patched and updated.

Physical Location Risks:

Employees working for different organisations may live together. As a result they could be sharing information without realising. Physical location risk mitigation, and supplying employees with organisation-owned devices, is a necessity.


Multi-Factor Authentication:

The popularity of multi-factor authentication for personal use is growing. This is spearheaded by tech giants such as Apple and Google.
While this is good news for remote workers, not everyone has gotten onboard with MFA so far. You can use multi-factor authentication across your personal devices. You can use software certificates, OTP tokens, and security keys among other options. This will help increase the security across your devices.

Updated Cyber-Security Policy for Working from Home:

Remote work must remain productive and hit designated KPI’s to ensure it is working. Update your employment manual to ensure safe working from home procedures. Ensure all staff members are aware of the updated policy.

Employee Well-being and Engagement:

Isolation and remote work can boost productivity in some employees. But it may result in poor performance in others. When transitioning to remote work, organisations must ensure employees are maintaining security practices. This can help mitigate insider threats.
Insider Threats fall into one of two categories – malicious and unintentional. Decentralisation of an organisation can result in less resources for risk mitigation. And this often results in an increased rate of Insider Threats of both kinds.
Cyber security risks can be mitigated by following approved guidelines. For more information, read our guide to preventing cyber security risks for SME’s. 


Cogito Group is an award-winning cybersecurity company specialising in authentication, cloud security, identity management and data protection. Cogito Group protect the authentication methods used to access information through the use of Identity and other security technologies.