The last few months have brought about a lot of change for all of us. Due to social distancing, companies across the world saw a huge increase in the number of people working remotely over the last few months. So as countries now start to relax social distancing and organizations consider shifting back to previous in-office work environments, McAfee took a look into how this change affects the number of remote workers. Will people return to work quickly, or will remote working continue on? Let’s take a look at how remote work trends have evolved in the U.S. over the past few months.
The Evolution of Remote Work
As lockdown began in March, the US saw a huge increase as people moved to work from home, with a 9% increase in the amount of remote connections to our apps compared to the previous month. Now, as parts of the U.S. starts to reopen, we’re tracking these remote connections to see if people are returning to work. So far, it looks like people aren’t rushing back to the office from home, with just a 0.3% decrease in remote connections this week compared to last week. What’s the big deal if more people work from home, anyways?
One answer: many organizations see employees returning to corporate offices as a necessity, especially from a security standpoint. Nearly half of employees say that their company isn’t currently responsible for securing their devices while they’re at home. This is likely correlated to the increase in the number of online attacks employees have reported over the past three months. In fact, a recent McAfee report shows that threats to enterprises increased by 630% over the same period, with most attacks targeting collaboration services that enable remote work.
Security Implications Around Remote Work
While many employers are anxious to have their team return to the office, a new study from McAfee revealed that 47% of employees do not want to go back to working how they were previously. Additionally, 21% stated that they intend to remain at home for as long as possible.
While it’s clear that consumers are doing their best to embrace their current work environment, both the employee and employer must take the various security implications around remote work into account. Companies must ensure that tools are set up so that they can keep all employees’ applications and systems up to date, patched, and monitored for any issues that may arise. By doing more to protect their employees remotely, businesses will be able to reap the benefits of a happier workforce and greater business continuity.
Although many users may be unsure of whether they will continue to commute to the kitchen table or their corporate office, there are several security tips to keep in mind in the interim to help enable remote work. Check out the following tips to safeguard your work from home environment:
Be cautious of correspondence asking you to act
You must stay vigilant if you receive an email or text asking you to take a certain action or download software. Avoid clicking on anything within the message. Instead, go straight to the organization’s website to prevent malicious content from phishing links.
Keep infrastructure up to date
With an ongoing trend of vulnerabilities in consumer devices like home routers or smart home products, you should be regularly reminded to update such devices.
Browse with security protection
Use comprehensive security protection, like McAfee Total Protection, which can help protect devices against malware, phishing attacks, and other threats. It includes McAfee WebAdvisor which can help identify malicious websites.