This is an all-to-common scenario. The rush to WFH has left many loose ends. Time to start tidying up…:
Alice M., who works as a benefits manager for a health insurance company, primarily used her personal laptop for Netflix binges and Facebook updates before the coronavirus pandemic. Since March, and for the foreseeable future, she’s had to give it a new task: handling confidential medical records. Alice worries her home equipment isn’t up to the job of her job.
“My company usually does give us necessary tools to feel secure, but because of Covid, they had to send everyone home,” Alice told Recode. “If you didn’t have their setup already, you had to use yours.”
“I’d argue that if patients knew this, they wouldn’t be so happy,” she added. “We aren’t as secure as we should be.”
Alice, who requested that neither she nor her employer be named for fear of retribution, may have reason to worry. Millions of workers have had to take their work home with them due to the pandemic and may continue to do so for months to come. Many are doing it without the security and privacy tools their offices had — or even, in cases like Alice’s, the equipment. The result: Hacking activity has more than doubled. One Australian company even blamed the sudden switch to remote work for a ransomware attack.
“In most scenarios, those protections that you had in place in the office don’t exist at home,” Mark Ostrowski, security evangelist at cybersecurity company Check Point, told Recode. “So that’s where you start talking about what are some things that I can do to protect myself?”