As the lines between work and personal life become increasingly blurred, new research from Trend Micro shows that smart home devices and their apps are an important weak link in the corporate cybersecurity chain.
To compile its new Head in the clouds In one study, the company surveyed more than 13,000 remote workers in 27 countries to find that 39 percent of them use their personal devices to access corporate data. The personal smartphones, tablets, and laptops used by employees are likely to be less secure than their corporate equivalents and exposed to vulnerable IoT apps and gadgets on a user’s home network.
Cyber psychology expert Dr. Commenting on the results of Trend Micro̵
“The fact that so many remote workers use personal devices to access corporate data and services suggests that there may be no awareness of the security risks involved. Tailored cybersecurity training that recognizes the diversity of different users and how well they are known Attitudes towards risk would be helpful in mitigating security threats that could arise from these issues. “
Of the global remote workers surveyed in Trend Micro’s study, more than half (52%) have IoT devices connected to their home network, 10 percent to lesser-known brands.
Many of these devices, especially smaller brands, have well-documented vulnerabilities, including unpatched firmware vulnerabilities and insecure logins. These vulnerabilities could allow attackers to gain a foothold on a user’s home network, where they could use these personal devices as a stepping stone to the corporate networks to which they are connected.
At the same time, post-lockdown corporate networks pose an additional risk if malware infections discovered while working from home are physically brought into the office on personal devices in organizations with existing BYOD policies. Trend Micro’s study also found that 70 percent of remote workers worldwide connect corporate laptops to their home networks.
Bharat Mistry, the key security strategist at Trend Micro, provided further insight into the threat smart home devices and apps pose to corporate networks, saying:
“IoT has provided simple devices with computers and connectivity, but not necessarily with adequate security features. They could make the lives of hackers easier by opening back doors that could compromise corporate networks. This threat will be compounded as an age of mass remote work blurs the lines between personal and corporate devices, putting both personal and business data in the line of fire. More than ever, it is important that individuals take responsibility for their cybersecurity and that companies continue to educate their employees about best practices. “