Poor security might send WFH workers back to the office

Smart devices with poor security could end up forcing home workers back to the office, if research from Blackberry is to be believed.

New research from the company found eight-in-ten – 79% – of all UK businesses reportedly take no steps to secure their workers’ home internet connections or provide software protection for domestic devices.

Consumers aren’t exactly prioritizing security either, as despite 77% of smart devices in the home being purchased in the past two years, less than a third (32%) of British home workers who own a smart device said security was a top three factor when making these purchases.

Why are smart devices a problem?

The research, which spoke to 1,000 Brits, highlighted how smart devices can create an endpoint for cybercriminals to take advantage of.

“With device security far down the list for fraught buyers trying to cut costs, and employer protection of smart home devices only being afforded to few, there is a huge opening for cybercriminals looking to target UK enterprises, with knock-on effects to employees themselves,” said Keiron Holyome, VP UKI, Middle East and Africa at BlackBerry. 

“Although these devices may seem innocent, bad actors can easily access home networks with connections to company devices – or company data on consumer devices – and steal data and intellectual property worth millions”

Holyoke went on to claim that “rising living costs, an impending recession, intensifying violence, and rising cyber insurance rates” have created a “perfect environment” for cybercrime, citing how both the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2008–2009 financial crisis saw a surge in cybercrime.

The report also added UK consumers were the most interested in the price and ease of set-up of smart devices out of any of the countries surveyed, with this being a top three buying metric for 58% and 40% respectively.

Unfortunately, for consumers, you don’t have to look very far at all for examples of smart devices being revealed to have serious vulnerabilities.

Microsoft security researchers unearthed a collection of critical remote code execution (RCE) vulnerabilities in a variety of Internet of Things (IoT) and Operational Technology (OT) devices, saying that these flaws may open up vulnerabilities in everything from consumer devices, to medical and industrial control hardware.

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