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Are Work from Home (WFH) Arrangements Compromising Cyber Security For Businesses?

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, WFH arrangements are becoming a common practice in companies today. Essentially, WFH creates a mobile workspace which constitutes a user’s portable working environment that allows them to access files, applications and services required for their job, regardless of their physical location. By incorporating such a working model, workers have the flexibility to work literally anywhere leading to reduced spread of COVID-19, increased productivity, all while the company saves millions of dollars annually by getting rid of expensive office spaces.

Based on Money’s article, 40% of workers say they’d quit or look for a new job if forced to return to the office full time. The article focuses on the topic of how employees globally are already demanding businesses maintain the work-from-home arrangement. They want the flexibility to work anywhere, at any time of the day, on any device – to maximize productivity and strive for work-life balance. As employees becoming increasingly mobile, so do workspaces.

With the integration of the tech savvy millennials into the workforce over the next few decades, work-life balance is regarded as one of the highly important factors when choosing their employees. This further emphasizes the growing need for WFH arrangements.

There is no doubt that WFH arrangement are potentially a game changer for companies. However, this inevitably also means that companies are now even more exposed to security risks and vulnerabilities. Yet, the need for organizations to adapt and transform to the changing work landscape is apparent.

Within an office perimeter, security settings are more stringent and further security measures can be put in place to prevent potential data breaches or leaks. However, as workers access the internet on the go, they might be tapping on a public internet connection which often does not boost the same level of security as in an office should they decide to do their work in a public setting.

Furthermore, as companies move to provide more innovative benefits to employees such as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), this could potentially increase the risk of data leakage due to the lack of control and visibility on these personal devices. Additionally, should the mobile device get stolen, anyone can then easily gain access into the business network.

Take for instance this scenario: A sales consultant who is using a mobile device such as a tablet could unknowingly access a malicious link using an unsecured wireless network, resulting in a virus attack and encryption on his presentation files.

Such a situation could become a common occurrence should companies decide to harness the power and benefits of a mobile workspace soon. To fully utilize and maximize the benefits of a WFH arrangement, companies should step up their game when it comes to implementing appropriate measures to ensure that confidential company data, applications and services are securely stored on the cloud platform.

There is no denying that WFH arrangements are the future of the working environment. By ensuring continuous security monitoring and increased awareness amongst users, alongside constant innovation and improvements to security measures, WFH arrangements could very well be ready to take on the cyber threats of tomorrow.

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