Hackernoon logo4 Entry Points for Cyberattacks While Working from Home by@ayoerrry

4 Entry Points for Cyberattacks While Working from Home


Family relationships, friendships, acquaintanceship, and romantic relationships are the different types of relationships that you may be involved in. Any or all of them can greatly impact your productivity and also constitute cyber threats while working from home.

Homeworking may not have been the norm, but circumstances have made it our new way of life. The coronavirus pandemic has successfully foisted some radical changes in the way we have been conducting businesses.

You must now live with social distancing, wearing of facemasks, and home working. All of these are sources of stress for you as well as the people you have any form of relationship with.

Even before the outbreak of coronavirus, the world has been grappling with the nefarious activities of cybercriminals. This, however, has been taken to another dimension with the pandemic.

While cyberattacks can result from the actions of both external and internal threat actors, it is quite revealing to know that IT security professionals believe that insiders within their organizations give them more cause for concern than external attackers. Reports show that from 2018, the number of internally-related threat incidents has increased by 47%, and 60% of organizations suffered over 30 incidents per year.

The financial impact of these threats on organizations also increased by 31% ($11.45 million) per year. Bearing in mind that unintentionally negligent employees or contractors; credential thefts leading to unauthorized access to applications and systems; or malicious insiders who intentionally damage the organization from within is a form of insider threat, we shall focus on unintentional negligent employees or contractors.

Entry points for cyberattacks while working from home

Experts have reported a surge in "phishing" attacks that is targeted at people working from home, by innocently clicking on a link in an email or message, you may install malware on your device. When you get phished, you have inadvertently created an access point for cybercriminals.

Entry points through which cyber attackers can gain access to the organization’s network include the following:

1. Home WiFi networks

As you are working from home now, there is the possibility that your family members, friends, and possibly acquaintances may have access to your WiFi password. While this is not wrong, it can portend danger. 

A study has revealed that the number of passwords that humans and machines will use globally will hit the 300 billion mark by 2020. This is a very large number by any standard, and since you know that it is harmful to allow your password to fall into the wrong hands, there is every need to be extremely careful.

Restricting them from making use of your work WiFi may lead to strain in your relationships but you have to educate them of the potential danger. Working from home will breed tension and stress, especially between you and your spouse, however, you must take steps to avoid having psychological problems.

When the situation becomes too stressful, you may have to seek the attention of a professional therapist. According to Regain, “Facing relationship obstacles alone can be daunting, and circumstances such as location and scheduling may make it difficult for you or your partner to receive the help you need. Support and guidance from licensed professionals have been shown to have a positive impact on the lives of individuals and couples.”

Whatever steps you take, you must always note that the organization’s security may depend on your activities and how you handle those who are closely related to you. You must not allow unnecessary access to your WiFi network to jeopardize the organization’s security.

When it becomes necessary that members of your family have to use your WiFi, take steps to constantly change the password. You can even ensure a two-factor authentication for better protection.

2. Having weak login credentials

You must never allow your family members or friends to know about your work login credentials. Mashable has revealed that 81% of adults use the same password for everything. This is a very dangerous practice.

If you have the habit of using repetitive passwords that use personal information, such as a nickname or street address, your friends can easily pick that up. Cybercriminals are always updating their practices. 

They have programs that mine public profiles for potential password combinations and have the patience and dedication to keep on plugging in all the possibilities until they succeed in cracking your password. They also have this dictionary attacks they use that automatically try different words until they come up with a match.

3. Mixing personal and work devices

There must be a clear demarcation between your work devices and those you use for your personal affairs. If it is possible, you can mark out the space where you do your official work and ensure people understand that clearly.

Any action you know that is risky such as installing or using a service, should not be allowed while working at home. The fact that you are working from home does not diminish the security risks, it can even heighten them.

4. Having access to every file

Remember that you have access to all the files in your organization even though you are working from home. A careless action from you can a lot of damage to the company and its reputation. 

Allowing your family members and friends access to these files is a no-go area. The organization allowed you access to these files based on trust. If this is what can break your good relationship with anybody, please, let it be so.

You must not mix emotions and sentiments with your work. Documents must be confidential.


Join Hacker Noon

Create your free account to unlock your custom reading experience.