Kaspersky research: Employees want work flexibility

SOUTHEAST ASIA: Cybersecurity and anti-virus provider Kaspersky’s “Securing the Future of Work” research found out that about 74% of respondents want more flexible and comfortable working conditions. While many employees are eager to get back into the office, some are still hesitant for various reasons, such as safety, emotional challenges, and loss of flexibility.

According to Yeo Siang Tong, Kaspersky’s general manager for Southeast Asia, careful planning is extremely necessary for the employees’ health and well-being and the company’s cybersecurity in a post-pandemic work routine.

He noted, “It is essential that companies create a return-to-office environment that employees want to join in.”

Yeo believes that now is a good time to re-evaluate the best working conditions for employees.

Based on the Kaspersky report, more than 50% of all employees in the IT sector experienced an increase in workload. But the majority of them do not feel any more tired working at home. About 36% even reported having more energy at the end of the remote working day.

“I believe companies have been building better plans for their future workflow to meet employee needs and ensure they stay productive, motivated and secure. The hybrid working model is one of the most popular solutions among companies, offering the best of both worlds for their employees. By allowing employees to choose whether to return to the office or work from home, they can improve their productivity and efficiency,” he noted.

Employee well-being and security must be top priorities to ensure the post-pandemic development of businesses.

Yeo added, “I believe it is crucial to create a culture that not only makes employees feel comfortable talking about their emotional state or problems, but also provides them with various wellness, fitness and psychological support services. We need to make sure that our employees stay safe no matter where and how they work.”

In addition, Yeo cited cybersecurity challenges have been prevalent during this time, with personal computers, tablets, and mobile phones connected to company data and accounts. Transferring files from home to work computers is an open opportunity for hackers that could be risky to a company’s data and security systems.

“In the first half of 2021, there were a total of 113.4 million brute-force attacks against users of Kaspersky solutions in Southeast Asia with Microsoft’s RDP installed on their desktops, mostly targeting remote workers. It is likely that we will see similar attempts by hackers when employees begin to return to work,” Yeo added.

Yeo recommended assessing and documenting the office’s data location and updating the internal systems during the early stages of returning to the office.

He also suggested keeping work-from-home cybersecurity workarounds using security checks, adding or expanding VPN (virtual private network) access, and conducting safety IT training.

Non-IT employees must also pay attention to protect themselves and company data against cyberattacks by ensuring that all the company’s data that were downloaded on personal devices are deleted to avoid accidentally leaking the company’s data.

He mentioned that during the pandemic, a wave of phishing emails lured people to download malicious attachments and give away personal details.

“As people return to their offices, fraudsters can take advantage of this opportunity to trick curious users. My advice is that you should be aware of emails that try to create a sense of urgency, and never click attachments or follow links in unexpected emails before verifying the sender. Also, ensure all your accounts are protected with a strong password and avoid sending them over email or text. It is important to remember that secure passwords are one of the most necessary keys to protect companies’ devices, systems and data,” Yeo advised.

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