Coronavirus: Half of remote workers 'victims of cybercrime'

Lily Canter
·2-min read
The hand of a young woman working at remote work
Some 42% of people working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic have received suspicious emails during the UK lockdown. (Getty)

Almost half of UK employees working from home during the coronavirus pandemic have been the victim of cybercrime, according to a new survey.

Some 42% of people working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic have received suspicious emails and 18% have tackled a security breach since lockdown began, according to the research by cybersecurity firm SentryBay.

A further 49% of workers feel vulnerable due to the insecurity of the devices they are using, such as corporate laptops and PCs.

“Clearly measures have been put in place, but they have not been sufficient,” said Dave Waterson, CEO of SentryBay.

“Cyber criminals look for the easiest way to steal sensitive corporate data, and accessing a corporate network remotely from a compromised, unmanaged device is the softest route. The device is often the weakest link in the security chain, and data has shown that it is where 70% of breaches originate, so enterprises need to wake up.”

READ MORE: Campaign launched to tackle online coronavirus scammers

The most common type of cyber attack, experienced by more than half the 1,550 survey respondents, came from clicking on a malicious web link. A further 11% believed it was from an infected attachment.

The threat of cybercrime for remote workers is likely to grow even once lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The survey found two thirds of people wanted to spend at least some of their week working from home in the future.

Waterson said companies needed to improve their anti-virus software to protect virtual private networks from further breaches.

The news comes as police warned of scammers targeting supermarket shoppers with scam emails and WhatsApp messages promising free vouchers.

Links embedded in these messages take customers to fake websites were personal financial data is stolen.