Many organisations are now relying heavily on staff working from home and connecting to business systems remotely using machines moved from the office or even their own personal laptops. This is an opportunity to ensure your people are better protected by additional endpoint security.
The sudden rush for homeworking has taken organisations by surprise. Many companies of all sizes are not as prepared as they could be to enable home working, exposing themselves to cyber breaches. Home workers are most vulnerable at endpoints, leaving many companies concerned about exposing corporate applications to home working users. Corporates may also suffer from a lack of secure VPN links with the capacity to support homeworking.
Of course, analysts have always underlined the threat, reporting that 89% of Australian businesses estimate that breaches went undetected  and that 15% of UK businesses lost control over a network to a hacker.
But what is different this time is the cynical exploitation of peoples’ health fears. They are taking the opportunity to infect homeworkers’ devices for personal gain.
Remote working demands strict security measures
Many employees are adapting to new ways of working, new routines and a new blurring between home and work life. Maintaining business operations while workers are distributed requires adherence to strict security policies to avoid the potential risks.
One of these risks is that as staff become reliant on devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones to connect from home, devices may be left unlocked and could be accidently misused by people other than employees. As the boundary between office hours and recreational time becomes blurred, devices are also often left connected to business networks. Some workers may even be using unsecured or shared Wi-Fi networks.
A related danger is that of corporate devices being used for multiple purposes. Users are blending work tasks with web browsing, social media consumption and personal e-mail. Removable media devices may also be attached to work laptops and personal devices will increasingly be used to complete work activities.
The large numbers of people all wanting security software at the same time can also cause a capacity issue. Restricted broadband connections and limits on corporate VPNs may delay the pace at which critical security patches, virus protection and malware defence updates can be deployed across the remote workforce.
Smart perimeter security
The answer to protecting home workers is to adopt a smart perimeter security solution. This will have several elements:
- Email security: This will block spam, virus, malware and phishing/impersonation including Business Email compromise (BEC) attacks – the first stage of 91% of cyber-attacks*
- Web security: Intended to protect users from dangerous or malicious content when browsing the Web, including email links, and prevent valuable data leaving the company
- Firewall security: Protects networks and VPNs from hackers, exploits, intrusions and stops valuable data leaving the company
- Endpoint security: Protects a business network when accessed by remote devices like smartphones, laptops, tablets or other wireless devices
How we help
As a first step, businesses should follow guidance provided by the UK Government National Cyber Security Centre to ensure staff can take the simple steps to protect themselves whilst working remotely.
For greater reassurance, NTT DATA, together with our partner FirstWave, has made available a suite of advanced cyber security solutions including email, web and endpoint security to ensure that all remote workers operate safely during the current challenging environment.
Contact us to find out more about the three-month trial – completely free of charge until the end of June.
 Telstra Security Report 2019
 Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018