While only one in three employees working in small businesses are aware of security requirements for personal devices, three in five employees (57 per cent) have not been not given secure corporate devices from their employers, a new report has said.
This is critical as most of them are dealing with sensitive business data at home in the Covid-19 lockdown times, according to a study by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.
"Although small businesses are less inclined to provide their staff with company devices to work from home, only one third of employees (34 per cent) have received instructions on how to securely work on personal laptops, tablets and smartphones while at home during the pandemic lockdown," the findings showed.
While it may be the only option for some organizations to keep their business going, only one third of small business staff (34 per cent) indicated they were given any IT security requirements to work securely on personal devices.
"Small companies may be in difficult circumstances and their first priority is to save their business and employees during the lockdown. However, implementing even basic IT security requirements can decrease the chances of malware infection, compromised payments or lost business data," said Andrey Dankevich, Senior Product Marketing Manager, B2B Product Marketing at Kaspersky.
In addition to the business benefits, organizations must also remember to protect these devices from cyber risks so that sensitive business and customer data stored on them remains safe, and employees can work without downtime as a result of ransomware or other malware infections.
These requirements could include, for example, having an anti-malware solution installed by a user or provided by an organization, using strong and unique passwords on devices and WiFi routers, and regularly updating device operating systems in order to reduce risks from unpatched vulnerabilities, suggested the report.
Having such instructions in place has recently become even more necessary, given that 35 per cent of small business employees admitted they have begun to store more valuable corporate information on their home devices, as well as in personal cloud storage services 25 per cent, the report added.