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Only 19% of Lockdown ‘Work from Homers’ Update Anti-Virus Solution

Only 19% of employees working from home as a result of COVID-19 lockdown measures have checked if their anti-virus solution is up to date, according to new research shared today by Avast Business

The company surveyed 2,000 employees of small to medium UK businesses in April 2020 to find out how secure their home working practices are. The results were good news for threat actors on the lookout for easy marks.

Researchers found that nearly a fifth (18%) of those currently working from home are doing so from their own unprotected devices, with not even half, 45%, working on secure devices provided by their employer.

Along with technology provision, security support was found to be an issue for remote workers. With only 26% of workers having access to designated IT support provided by their employer, the research points to the majority of employees being left to navigate security’s rocky terrain on their own.

According to the research, most employees went into lockdown with little security training to fall back on. While 24% of those polled said they had received regular security training at work in the past, only 7% of employees had undergone specific online security training when lockdown measures were implemented.

Many employees working from home have turned to videoconferencing platforms like Zoom to help them stay in touch with colleagues and customers, but few have been advised on how to use them safely. Researchers found that only 23% of employees had received any guidance on how to use platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. 

“Not all businesses have a designated point of contact for IT security, or the necessary resources. This makes it even more imperative that both business owners and employees take active responsibility,” commented Jaya Baloo, chief information security officer for Avast.

While countries around the world have tentatively begun easing lockdown restrictions, Baloo predicts that ensuring workers can securely work remotely will remain crucial.

She said: “Even when the lockdown starts coming to an end, there’s high chance that increased remote working becomes the new normal for a long time.”

Avast researchers said companies whose employees are working remotely should prepare for the worst. 

They said: “You must assume everyone is connecting in an Internet cesspool and they are accessing important corporate assets. This means that they need the appropriate protection, security, and tools to get their jobs done.”

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