Companies Overwhelmingly Expect Security Risks from Work-from-Home Employees, Survey Shows

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Many companies rushed to provide their employees with a procedure to work from home, leading to a drastic increase in cyber risks that could directly affect the business, according to a new survey from HiveIO. 

Switching to a work-from-home environment was the only solution for many companies. But the switch was far from organic – it was forced and mostly overnight. Suddenly, companies had almost their entire workforce operating remotely, and that can only lead to security problems. 

Even if people’s endpoints run security solutions at all times, and they need to connect to secure infrastructure, access to the company takes place through unsecure channels (such as an old and unpatched router). 

A new survey from HiveIO looks at how companies are dealing with this unique situation, across all industry verticals. The most significant impact is suffered by IT departments that now have to, all of a sudden, manage an unplanned, work-from-home workforce. 

Among the companies that responded to the survey, 70% had less than 10% of their employees working from home, but that percentage is now at almost 100%. The bigger problem is that 70% of respondents don’t have any kind of technologies to monitor, manage, and support at-home employees.

IT staff is also affected by the pandemic, with almost 25% of companies reporting people leaving the organizations, and another 18% fear that this is a real possibility. 

The most interesting aspect revealed by the survey is that 85% of the companies expect new threats in this environment, including digital communications issues (54%), employee productivity loss due to family distractions or a new approach to work (49%), and security risks involving ransomware, breach concerns, compliance issues, etc (46%). 

With work-from-home becoming policy in many companies, protecting the infrastructure and the business in the online landscape is now a shared job between employees and organizations, much more than it was before.