With many countries participating in social distancing directives, remote workers are elevating both personal and organisational risk. While working from home you have likely already experienced some of the challenges around finding a quiet place to have calls, the struggle to maintain a resemblance of a work schedule, and attempting to fend off the distractions of kids/ significant others and whatever you are currently binge watching on Netflix. All the while feeling the tension and anxiety of trying not to fall sick with the coronavirus.

During this trying adjustment period there are changes that put yourself and your employer at risk of a number of cyberattacks. These include:

Blending personal and work surfing: not just checking your email or doing some quick banking on your work computer but the sheer lack of schedule that any of us have causes some to work at all hours and inevitably some personal surfing mixed in. Studies show the work/ life balance makes workers more productive, it also means that any succumbing to cyberattack by phishing/ malware-laden websites/ malicious links etc as these will infect the same machine you use to log onto corporate resources on the web. Corey’s recommendation: I set up a work and personal PC and limited my use of the personal PC during the day wherever possible.

Lowered defence: Hands up if you have spent a half or full day in your PJs working in a semi-prone position on the couch with one on that Netflix show?? Whilst not ideal from the point of view of the boss the “relaxed” mindset is rarely on protecting the organisation’s data and using best security practices is the last thing on your mind. Corey’s recommendation: I set up an office area away from the TV and … cut off my Netflix (gasp, shock, horror but yes, it’s gooone!!)

You Overshare: With it everyone being emotional at this time and Social Media playing such a large part in our lives before isolation, it has now become a key source of communication especially for extroverts like myself. BUT the sharing of work and personal details can be potentially be used by cybercriminals who use this information as part of their diligence targeting you as a potential victim so be aware of how much and how often you share. Corey’s recommendation: I set up times like my normal lunch break/ coffee break times to give myself “away from work time” but if I am being honest, it’s easier to say than enact on a constant basis. I work along the lines of always being seen on Social Media would my boss be asking me if I am focused if he was looking over my shoulder?

You’re Lonely: My single friends are still participating in online dating and for most of it, there is no meeting the other interested party in person. Of course, there is still the online connections/ the chats and phone calls, but we have seen an increase on the romance scams and if you are lonely enough, online dating is a great vehicle for scammers to take advantage of you. Corey’s recommendation: Be overly careful of the increased interest of your online profile in the dating sites and in Social Media in general, anyone can put up a good looking pic and pretend to be those people in order to lower your defences.

Basically, the unchartered stresses/ isolation and unique situation this virus has put us all in can create an environment in which we are possibly less vigilant than we would be if we were in the office. Cybercriminals pray on these situations so please be careful.

Our experience in crisis management, disaster recovery and time critical project work has proven to be the major point of difference as has our open and transparent communication.

To discuss successful partnerships and how engaging Consulting IT to maintain your IT infrastructure will:

  • Reduce your Staff downtime/ Expenditure/ Stress/ Exposure and Risk
  • Increase your Awareness/ Business Continuity Plans/ Backup and Disaster Recovery Systems/ Auditing and Compliance

Simply contact Corey Hill ([email protected]), National Sales and Marketing Manager.

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