As social distancing measures become common and workers adjust to their new professional environments, even from their own living rooms, there is potential for private and working life to blur into one. In fact, half (51%) of those working from home who started to watch more inappropriate content admit they did so on the same devices they use for work-related purposes. This is just one of the key findings from Kaspersky’s new How COVID-19 changed the way people work report.
The ‘new normal’ that workers are now facing is starting to have an impact on their work-life balance. Nearly a third (31%) of workers said they are spending more of their time working than they did before. However, 46% said they have increased the amount of time they spend on personal activity. This particular change may have come about because workers are now not having to commute or travel as much than they were before.
The report also revealed that it has become harder for workers to separate working and personal activity, especially when it comes to IT. Worryingly for businesses, 51% of workers who admit they have started watching more inappropriate content since working from home say they have done so on devices they use for work-related purposes. Nearly a fifth (18%) of workers even do this on devices provided to them by their employers, with 33% admitting to watching on their personal devices that they also use to do their work.
Additionally, 55% of workers say they are reading more news now than they were before they started working from home. While this is understandable because people will want to stay updated with the latest coronavirus developments, 60% of this activity is done on devices that are used for work. This can though potentially lead to malware infections if employees do not pay attention to the resources and websites they visit.
Workers are also developing a habit of using their personal services for working purposes – increasing the potential risks from shadow IT, including the disclosure of sensitive information. For instance, 42% of employees use personal email accounts for work-related matters, and 49% admit their usage has increased when working from home. 38% use personal messengers that have not been approved by their IT departments, with 60% of them do it more often in their new circumstances.
“Organisations cannot just fulfill all user requests, such as allowing staff to use any services as they want to. It is necessary to find a balance between user convenience, business necessity and security. To achieve this, a company should provide access to services based on the principle of only supplying minimal, necessary privileges, implement a VPN and use secure and approved corporate systems. These types of software may have certain restrictions that slightly reduce usability, but offer greater assurances in providing security measures,” - comments Andrey Evdokimov, Chief Information Security Officer at Kaspersky.
To ensure businesses do all they can to keep their employees and corporate data safe, Kaspersky recommends employers follow these measures:
- Schedule basic security awareness training for your employees. This can be done online and cover essential practices, such as account and password management, email security, endpoint security. Kaspersky and Area9 Lyceum have prepared a free module to help staff work safely from home
- Ensure devices, software, applications and services are kept updated with the latest patches
- Install proven protection software, such as Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud, on all endpoints, including mobile devices, and switch on firewalls. Any solution used should include protection from web threats and email fishing
For workers and users at home who have to work from their personal devices, Kaspersky advises:
- Using a reliable security solution, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud, for comprehensive protection from a wide range of threats.
- Only downloading educational and entertaining content strictly from trusted sources
For more information about the impact working from home has had on workers and to read the report in full, visit https://www.kaspersky.com/blog/report-covid-wfh/.