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39% of new homeworkers access work data on insecure devices

Enterprise data security policies urgently need to be refreshed as post-lockdown personnel continue to work remotely, says Trend Micro study.

Smart home devices and their apps represent a ‘major weak link’ in the enterprise cyber security chain as the lines between work and home life increasingly blur due changes wrought by Coronavirus.

Trend Micro’s Head in the Clouds study surveyed more than 13,000 remote workers across 27 countries. Its findings reveal that 39% of workers use their own personal devices to access work data, often via cloud-hosted third-party services and applications hosted. These smartphones, tablets and laptops are perpetually less secure than employer equivalents and are exposed to insecure IoT apps and gadgets on home networks.

The study found, for example, that 36% of remote workers surveyed still do not have basic password protection on all personal devices, for example.

Fifty-two percent of global remote workers have IoT devices connected to their home network, 10% using lesser-known brands, the study revealed. Many such devices – especially from smaller brands – have well-documented weaknesses such as unpatched firmware vulnerabilities and insecure logins, according to Trend Micro. These could allow attackers to gain a foothold in the home network, then use unprotected personal devices as a stepping-stone into the corporate networks they are connected to.

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