Does Working from Home Pose a Cybersecurity Risk?

During COVID-19, working from home has gone from a nice perk to a public health necessity.  More people now are working from home due to the mandated quarantine than ever have before – and perhaps more than ever will again.  With so many people accessing their files and communicating and emailing from different places, working-from-home cybersecurity risk is present.  

Working-From-Home Cybersecurity: What to Consider

At this time, there isn’t a guaranteed way to eliminate the risk, but knowing where the trouble might come and how to prevent it is a must.

Poor Authentication

When everyone is on a work computer, passwords and other protections are already in place.  But with everyone working from home, speed gets prioritized over security.  Password protections, even double authentication, must be rigorous, especially when working remotely.  It may be necessary to rotate passwords and update security protocols along the way to keep cybersecurity secure.

Increased Digital Communication

Another point of risk is the increase of digital communication.  Employees are receiving more official emails perhaps than ever before.  At the office, this all might have come through a work email app, but now it is coming to homes across the country. 

The risk of phishing and other email or instant message scams has increased.  Be sure that every employee knows to check who sends every email, and only click on links that are secure.  It may be appropriate to train staff on how to identify a scam email, even if it comes under the name of a person they know.

Multiplicity of Platforms

The moment everyone went home, the number of devices – phones, computers, tablets, etc. – that were connected to the employer’s network skyrocketed.  Believe it or not, some of the most dangerous scams are as simple as a criminal taking advantage of or stealing an unattended laptop or forgotten phone. 

Keep close tabs on which devices are being used and educate employees on how to keep them safe and use them properly.  While this may not be as much of an issue with current social distancing regulations, when the coffee shops and restaurants open back up, everyone must be on high alert if they plan to continue using all of their devices for work. Cybersecurity doesn’t have to be complex to be effective as long as employee are cognizant of the risk they create by working in various locations.

Unsecured Networks

Most offices will have either a secure, password-protected wireless network, or a hardwired network that no one can access from the outside.  Those common workplace protections are not as prevalent in homes.  Everyone has to work from their personal networks, and these are notoriously easy to compromise from a cybersecurity standpoint.  Measures may need to be taken to restrict what information can be sent or stored on an unsecure network, or an employer could even work with their employees to secure their networks from home.

Cyber Liability Coverage

With so many employees working from home, the number of doors, gates, and windows that are open to hackers and other cyber-criminals is dangerously high.  Even the most robust measures cannot foresee every eventuality.  Cyber liability insurance may sound like a futuristic technology – but with so many people cyber commuting, having a robust coverage plan is imperative.  Arroyo Insurance has specific plans available to help concerned employers during this crisis, and into the future.

 About Arroyo Insurance Services

Arroyo Insurance Services was officially established in 1986, but we have roots dating back to before 1950. One of California’s leading client-oriented and independently owned agencies, we have over 140 employees with a combined experience of over 450 years, spread across 11 locations. We are committed to providing the best insurance and risk management services at the most competitive premiums, and backing it with hands-on service tailored to our customers’ needs. For more information on how we can mitigate your risks, contact us today at (877) 220-4769.