Kaspersky: Work-From-Home Staff in Southeast Asia Worry Using Personal Devices

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Multinational cybersecurity firm Kaspersky released a copy of their “More Connected Than Ever Before: How We Build Our Digital Comfort Zones” report showing remote workers in the Southeast Asian region admit to worrying the use of their personal devices and home networks for professional purposes.

According to the research lab’s latest study, 46% of respondents from the region (SEA) find it harder to switch off after work than when they had to travel to their physical offices. This is four (04) notches higher than the global result of 42%. A majority of the respondents (62%) also disclosed their unease towards the increasing amount of meetings taking place online.

Conducted in May 2020 with 760 respondents from SEA, the survey also unmasked the worries of remote employees in the time of pandemic where the majority of the offices remain closed due to physical restrictions. Amongst these heightened concerns are about their online security due to the nature of the confidential work they are conducting from home said 62% of the interviewees — 13 points higher than the global result with only 49%. Another factor for 57% of the respondents is that their home technology is not as secure as their office’s technology which is nine (09) notches higher than the world’s view at 48%. These respondents expressed their worry that using their own computers may risk the safety of their work data. 

“Majority of our survey respondents from the region are working from home during this period where lockdown measures are still in place because of the pandemic. It is understandable and a welcome progress that a lot of them are more concerned about their online security given that our previous research showed 52% of businesses agreed that employees are security’s weakest link,” according to Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.

There are bright spots, though, as 62% of the surveyed individuals from SEA professed that working from home has made them more aware of their digital security and 56% noted that their employers have provided strict instructions about protecting confidential work information online. 

However, there are still over 4-in-10 who shrug off security and assume that everything is protected and safe. Almost half (42%) also confessed that they share an internet connection with other people they live within shared accommodation and are not sure about the security and safety of their devices as they are not aware of how to securely use the internet.

“The current remote work set-up is here to stay. For employees’ mental wellness, it is important to create a conducive environment and work only during office hours. For enterprises, incidents such as the Wannacry attack and the Bangladesh Bank Heist should remain as reminders that staff can be an attack vector exploited through old but still effective social engineering tricks. Businesses should now look into training technology that applies AI to the responses from the trainees and adapt by challenging them with an appropriate level of training and reinforcement, rather than using the same course material across everyone in a dull way,” adds Yeo.  

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