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Businesses 'missing the mark' on remote work security training

(Image credit: Pixabay)

The increase in remote work practices as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic has sadly been accompanied by a rise in cybercrime, especially for small and medium-sized businesses.

Remote desktop software and other collaborative tools have been hit particularly hard, however, vulnerabilities in remote work software are not the only, or even the most important factor in maintaining a secure workforce. 

Instead, according to a study by Kaspersky, a startling high number of businesses have failed to properly educate employees on cybersecurity best practices or provide them with the software they need to connect securely. 

Security skill

The study, which combined data from more than 6,000 respondents across 12 countries, found that 73% of respondents have had no additional IT security awareness training following work-from-home orders. This is even more surprising, given that nearly half of employees (46%) are working from home for the first time and thus have no prior experience maintaining a secure online presence while working remotely.

A further 55% of employees haven’t been provided with specific devices for their remote work, meaning that personal computers, smartphones and tablets are all being used to connect to business networks.

This makes it even more difficult for strained IT departments to advise on best security practices, as each individual uses their own antivirus or VPN. In fact, only 32% of businesses provided staff with antivirus software, while 53% of employees aren’t using a VPN

Businesses are more exposed to cyber-threats than ever, but security-minded businesses can dramatically improve the situation by providing employees with simple but effective training in cybersecurity, and providing them with appropriate software and devices to work from home securely.