Kaspersky conducted a recent survey in collaboration with popular Arabic technology news portal – AITnews. This survey aims to understand employees working from home are equipped to protect themselves from the increased attacks on networks and mobile devices.

The survey revealed that 45% of Arab respondents from around the world did not receive any cybersecurity guidelines from their employer on how to work from home safely. Most people are not prepared to protect their devices from cyber-attacks. If a cyber-attack were to take place, this lack of knowledge would gravely affect the business, causing major losses to the company’s data and intelligence. The results of the survey also point towards another concerning finding, with 54% of the respondents using their personal laptops to work remotely. Personal laptops are not equipped with the same level of safety protocols the way that corporate devices are. These findings reveal the major security flaws exposing the company’s data to risks.

Maher Yamout, Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky said:

“We often take for granted the security systems that we have in place at our work places but the results of this survey shows us that it is time for us to take security into our own hands and take the necessary precautions to stay safe online. Cybercriminals are aware that most people are now working from home and are waiting to intercept an insecure connection or send malicious emails under the guise of providing important information. We at Kaspersky urge users to stay vigilant during these difficult times.”

47% of the respondents said that they are working more efficiently from home while 44% said they will continue working from home even after the quarantine has ended. However, 79% do not feel safe from cyber-attacks while working from home. For that, Kaspersky advices consumers to take the following measures: For workers and users at home who have to work from their personal devices, Kaspersky advises:

  • Trusted sources: Download educational and entertaining content strictly from trusted sources
  • Trusted networks: Only use trusted networks for online activities. If it’s not your network and you need to go online, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to secure your connection.
  • Back up data: Regularly back up data onto an external hard drive that is kept offline. In case the data is lost, you avoid losing your work.

For organisations, Kaspersky recommends the following:

  • Provide training: 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.
  • Update devices: Ensure devices, software, applications and services are kept updated with the latest patches
  • Install proven protection software: Install security softwares from a verified source that provides protection from web threats and email phishing attacks.