Specialisation: Cybersecurity In Workplace

Cybersecurity for Working from Home

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The development of internet technologies necessitates enhancing internet-based works to help individuals and companies in extensive data transportation. While people celebrate the benefits of technological advancements, there are risks, threats, and disadvantages that come with the advantages. The most acknowledgeable disadvantage of development in information communication technologies is the cyber security threats that evolve with the development of technologies (Ahsan et al., 2022). The development of computerization in most operations worldwide has resulted in the harmful use of computer networking to cause harm to individuals and institutions. In this study about cybersecurity for working at home, the focus is channeled to understanding cybersecurity, cyber threats, attacks, and countermeasures to cybersecurity threats.

The significance of this study is to help collect information vital to deterring cybercrimes and develop insights to further studies that would help enhance protection against cyber threats and cyber-attacks. Internet development and employment based on the internet expose individuals and organizations to threats and attacks, which may ultimately destroy reputations and cause organizational loss (Offner et al., 2020). Therefore, it is critical to understand the background factors leading to cybersecurity threats and why it affects people working from home more than conventional workers.

INTRODUCTION

Internet technologies necessitate the development of applications and systems that are internet based, which help in extensive data transportation and facilitate web-based technologies. With technological advancement and changing working terms and conditions, companies and organizations are shifting from conventional jobs to remote employment. According to Offner et al. (2020), recent advancement in job platforms encourages employees to perform their tasks from home, communicate and transmit the completed work to employers through the internet. The processes involved in acquiring data, data aggregation, and delivery of high-volume data and transportation from specific sources explain big data in transportation. Despite the advancement in technologies and the ability to transport high volumes of data, a series of risks are involved in working on the internet and with the internet f things. Almudaires and Almaiah (2021) argue that working from home may expose the employees and the remote jobs to risks such as expanded attack surfaces, vulnerable networks, undesirable employee work habits, shortages of security skills, and problems with cloud-based infrastructures. Therefore, it is essential to consider creating protection policies against cyber security problems for working remotely.

Flexibility in the mobilization of technology has dramatically disintegrated the traditional work-life with several data processing concerns enhancing the current trend of remote employment. While the most common issues with remote work include lack of routine and time management, social isolation, difficulty building and maintaining organizational cultures, and distractions from home, data security issues are significant threats. Ideally, the major cybersecurity concerns experienced when working include the lack of data security skills, expanded attacks, and tracking and managing the assets in the cloud.

According to Almudaires and Almaiah (2021), working from home increases the possibilities and chances of employees using unsecured networks, for example, public Wi-Fi, unverified networks, and shared internet website log-ins. Arguably, most home networks are vulnerable to attacks due to a lack of technical expertise to secure the internet. Consequently, remote jobs, especially tasks that involve the transportation of big data and access to the internet, are exposed to spyware, malware, and virus attacks. Additionally, the internet is clouded by scams, phishing attacks, and cyberbullying. Thus, the study focuses on cybersecurity for working at home as an overall project topic and will explore policies for promoting cyber security for remote employees.

Industries, companies, organizations, and individuals are experiencing new issues and evolving cybersecurity threats, with information systems at higher risk. Ahsan et al. (2022) indicate that the frequency of cyber-attacks in the United States alone by August this year was 66% of the internet users. With the increase in e-commerce and working remotely, more people risk getting attacked and having their data breached by hackers or simply internet bullies. Thus, governments and policymakers are striving to create policies that would help reduce the incidence of cyberbullying and data breaches.

Research question

This proposal’s problem and research question are: What are the possible interventions and policies for solving cybersecurity issues for remote employees and the possible internet technology implementations in organizations to prevent networks, data, and systems from cyber-attacks?

Aims and objective of the research

With the current increase in global internet and cyber threats, technology industries are committed to reducing the threats and risks that their systems are exposed. Thus, this research is conducted with the aims of;

  1. Identify the most common and most dangerous cyber-attacks in data transportation and remotely working.
  2. To establish possible measures that governments, organizations, and companies in the internet and information technology industries can implement to achieve and maintain cyber security.
  3. To establish data processing and transportation protection policies.

Significance of the study

Companies’ data exposure to various risks dramatically influences the companies’ decision-making and negatively impacts the companies’ output. According to Singh et al. (2020), cybersecurity protections from corrupt and illegal access to private information cause financial losses, reputational harms, company degradation, erosion of brands, and lack of consumer trust. Thus, this study is essential in gathering critical and relevant information about cybersecurity for working from home and enhancing effective and accountable transportation of high-volume data using internet technology.

This study is critical to helping deter crimes on working platforms and data transportation from different sources, especially for remote employees working from home. Data protection and considerations are essential in deterring potential crimes that internet users are exposed to (Almudaires & Almaiah, 2021). Arguably, there are many cyber crimes that internet users and internet technology faces.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Cyber security threats are issues brought about by the development and advancement in internet technologies, precisely information communication technologies. While different scholars and studies have given different explanations for cyber security, Jia et al. (2019) explain cyber security as the techniques and efforts aimed at safeguarding cyberspaces. Internet developments have created threats regarding data breaches and cyber-attacks on internet users. According to Singh et al. (2020), the first reported cyber-attack case was conducted through networked computers in Estonia in 2007. Since 2007, data breaches have advanced to attacking severe institutions such as governments and companies’ top secrets. Therefore, cyber securities protocols and programs are researched, and policies are created to protect individuals and companies from cyber-attack risks.

The development of information technologies and computerization have significantly impacted the work and employment systems of many countries and organizations. By 2010, companies like Spotify, 3M, Airbnb, and Yelp had started closing their offices to embrace remote employment where employees would work from home (Jia et al., 2019). Consequently, work-from-home schemes involved more risks as more companies’ data and protectives were hacked and mishandled. Consequently, countries started creating policies to protect their data and assets. Primarily, the most common cybersecurity issues that are faced by people working from home include the following;

i. Cyber threats

According to Lai et al. (2022), every successful attack on any organization’s database and cyber assets would compromise the organization’s confidentiality, ICT systems operations, and integrity. Ideally, cyber thefts can result in exposure to intrusion in terms of propriety and economic and confidential data. Some of the most common cyber threats include;

a. Insider threats

Working from home exposes many companies and organizations to behaviors characterized by deliberately attacking organizations and their cyberspace assistance by their employees. According to Singh et al. (2020), a high level of access to a company’s database and systems prompts the users to look for loopholes and attacks on the company or organization without contacting appropriate authorities. Primarily, insider attacks aim to leak information to organizations or companies’ competitors and enemies that would later help to the companies’ disadvantage (Lai et al., 2022). Working from home typically allows individuals to have access to most company assets. It is challenging to control users and employees working remotely on what to do; thus, blackmail, revenge, and disgruntlement are common threats to organizations working from home.

b. Online and mobile banking fraud

Studies by Lai et al. (2022) indicate that most people registered with online banking and mobile money services risk exposing their money to fraudsters and can lose their money anytime if there is no robust data protection from the bank systems. An example of online and mobile banking fraud was the China National Petroleum cyber-attack in 2017. If it seemed impossible, fraudsters managed to control the corporations’ credit payment and demand ransoms for users to access their credit card operations or make payments for fuel (Manesh & Kaabouch, 2019). Other severe online and mobile banking systems affect internet technologies since the controls are complicated. People working from home are more exposed to online fraud since most suffer from working for fraudsters or intentionally giving crucial information to outsiders who, in turn, attack the organizations.

c. Social Media

The most committed cybercrime in the world relates to social media attacks and threats. While most organizations have adopted digital marketing strategies to enhance their businesses and operations, aspects of cyberbullying and threats like data leaks significantly affect companies with employees working from home (Manesh & Kaabouch, 2019). Complex online malware install buttons that are availed users for specific roles. Social media is significantly misused, especially in sharing false information, computer malware, and giving away access credentials.

ii. Cyber security and countermeasures

Countermeasures for cyber threats account for cyber security and protection policies that ensure appropriate and effective data usage. Countermeasures in cyber threats are viewed as all the actions taken to resolve the internet threats and risks, the processes, systems, devices, and technologies used to mitigate the effects of cyberattacks. The countermeasures include setting relevant standards of behavior, including encryption of shared data and restrictions on the use of social media. According to Singh et al. (2020), cyber securities are critical in deterring cyber-attacks and potential breaches of private data.

METHODS

Investigating cyber security issues, data protection policies, and intervention to challenges facing people working from home, it is appropriate to address this study’s objectives and research question. Thus, the data collection method for this study would require both qualitative and quantitative research methods. The research will rely on data collection through filed questionnaires, analyzing secondary sources subjected to inclusion criteria, and meeting all the required verifications and authentications for academic standards (Lai et al., 2022). The research questionnaires will contain questions about cyber security for working at home and the interventions of cybercrime challenges faced by people working remotely. For the primary data, the research targets to gather information from a sample size of 200 respondents in investigating cybersecurity for working at home and policies for working at home.

The inclusion criteria for secondary sources will include all company websites, business organizations, government databases, and only institutions using private networking systems. The criteria s based on the integrity of the sources and the validity of the references made during the study. Other secondary sources for the research include peer-reviewed articles and books that are not older than five years (Li & Liu, 2021). The project proposal shall rely on interviews and questionnaires to specific experts through the internet since the objectives would require a recommendation for establishing policies that will regulate and protect people working from home against cybercrimes and other attacks.

The exclusion criteria in data collection methods would be to any agency or business that uses public networking for their roles and conventional employees. The questionnaires and interviews will be restricted to only individuals and experts who work remotely and are affected by internet technology interference (Manesh & Kaabouch, 2019). Secondary sources not verified or peer-reviewed is excluded from the study process.

Research Design

This research design illustrates a combination of methods and techniques for identifying cybersecurity issues for working from home and giving sustainable solutions to the ever-evolving cyber-crime threats and attacks. The research design would enable the implementation of formal justifications of data collected from the respondents who are either direct victims of cyber-attacks or potential victims working from home. A logical evaluation of the research would be supported by the effective implementation of data protection policies which will account for the risk determination, identification of threats, and development of a solution to internet technology issues (Manesh & Kaabouch, 2019). The research management will ensure all the research techniques and tools are effectively used in determining the possible causes of data breaches and coming up with solutions to issues such as expanded attack surfaces, usage of vulnerable networks, and increasing data security skills.

The research design will yield both qualitative and quantitative data. Thus, the design is flexible to adjustments depending on the research objectives and problem. Upon undertaking data collection activities such as conducting surveys, website hits, and evaluation of the internet technologies’ performances, the recommendation made on the research would be flexible enough to address other issues regarding cyber securities. Interviews and questionnaires will be developed to address all the aims and objectives of the research (Li & Liu, 2021). However, all the data collected would be computed into an SPSS analysis and presentation, compared to other previous research, and used to recommend further research on cybersecurity on working from home.

Justification of choices

Government agencies and scholars have conducted several studies and research about the states of cyber security, national security, and policies to protect internet users against various attacks. However, there is limited published literature addressing the problems of cyber securities and policies regarding the regulation of remote jobs. According to Li and Liu (2021), cybercrimes are evolving and increasing with technological advancement. For instance, in 2017, the China National Petroleum Corporation suffered a cyber-attack that damaged and prevented customers from making payments online and by credit cards unless the customers paid a ransom through bitcoins. The attack on the corporation cost China and the residents unimaginably huge losses that could otherwise have been deterred (Singh et al., 2020). However, the evolution of internet technologies has much sophistication, thus posing a challenge in taking control of the situation. Relating to the China cyber-attack incident, it is essential to understand cyber security, data processing, data transportation protection, and policies regulating working from home. Therefore, this study intends to contribute to generating knowledge about cyber security for working at home and establish policies regulating remote jobs.

Several companies and organizations do not have sufficient knowledge about the threats they are exposed to when they acknowledge staff working from home and transporting critical and high-volume data through internet technology. According to Li and Liu (2021), due to a lack of sufficient knowledge on data protection and policies regulating working from home, several companies do not consider employer data security experts, thus exposing most of their information to attackers and breaches. Singh et al. (2020) argue that it is incumbent for the information gaps relating to cybersecurity and work-from-home policies to be subjected to further studies. Thus, to ensure ultimate security for all people working from home, studies must be conducted on the most effective ways to solve cybersecurity issues. Consequently, the choice of researching cybersecurity for working at home and the need to develop policies regulating remote jobs is justified in this research.

Data Collection

The study is to be conducted and compiled online. Interviews and interviewees are selected from the companies that merited the inclusion criteria, and the entire process is carried out via the internet. The target respondents were gathered from around the world, with the majority living in America. Through b internet technology, the research proposal can probe respondents from all over the world and access the data from verified secondary sources, ensuring the authenticity and validity of every data provided by the respondents (Singh et al., 2020). The questionnaires were created and shared online with strict guidelines for specific experts allowed to participate.

The research targets individual persons, government officials from different countries, especially the United States, three African countries, South Africa and Kenya, and organization officials. The research considers only the relevant information from the selected. Thus, the activities undertaken during the study shall include verification of data sources, sampling the respondents, creating the questionnaires, sharing the questions, and collecting the responses.

With a sample size of 200 experts and professionals across the world, internet technology industries, companies, and governments, the researcher undertook to validate all the pieces of information shared and responses given by the respondents. One of the essential activities undertaken by the researcher is the ethical considerations and attainment of all necessary legal requirements (Altulaihan et al., 2022). The study focused on addressing the cybersecurity issues for working at home and creating policies protecting against cyber-attacks on remote employees.

Research techniques

Conducting research focusing on policy development and internet technology issues, it is appropriate to consider applying techniques such as surveys, website hits and log files analysis, and measurement of performances.

Surveys

Cyber security issues are global, and cyber threats affect nearly all organizations and governments worldwide. Thus, based on the inclusion criteria technique in selecting the data sources, the research would focus on conducting surveys on the rates and impacts of the effects of cybercrimes across the continents. The researchers must sample sources and respondents from the most affected countries and the companies that have suffered the most significant losses due to cyber crimes. Conducting a survey is a critical technique that helps sample the most effective and appropriate data for analyzing and creating the most effective policies that would act as interventions to cybercrimes (Altulaihan et al., 2022). The surveys are considered techniques during the research primarily for collecting views and experiences from different people under different terms. According to Li and Liu (2021), during the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly all countries opted to work from home. While no verified report has detailed impacts and incidences of cyber-attack during the period, it is notable that during the pandemic, internet technology was extensively used; thus, it is possible that more cyber-crimes were committed.

Website hits

Upon acquiring a legal mandate to research cyber security for working at home, the researchers would use their internet technology expertise and try to hit various websites, accessing their information and reporting on security measures implemented. Offner et al. (2020) indicate that most companies do not have more vigorous data protection techniques and minimal policies that protect internet users. For example, the 2017 China National Petroleum Corporation cyber-attack gave insight into various companies, including Sony Pictures, Saudi Aramco, and American Financial corporations, which have in history had major cyber-attacks and data breaches. Surprisingly, even most companies that have suffered the effects of cyberattacks did not have enough data protection techniques, as most databases lacked basic protections such as passwords (Offner et al., 2020). Through analysis and statistics from the website hits in the research, policymakers would then make policies protecting people working from home by preventing unauthorized access to any website and patent rights adherence.

Measurement of performance

Internet technologies’ performances can be determined by observing active operations and using the internet of things. Developing policies for working from home and offering protection to remote employees requires close internet performance monitoring. Thus, one of the essential techniques in research about cybersecurity and policies is measuring performance and the effectiveness of individual employees’ data confidentiality (Offner et al., 2020). Many data breaches and cyber-attacks correspond to frequent internet users who do not have strong network protections. Through online interviews and questionnaires about work performance, the researchers can measure individual performances and relate to data security and protection issues to recommend effective protection policies.

Research Evaluation

The research aims to gather relevant and critical information about cybersecurity and data protection policies for people working from home. Among the essential information that the research success relied on were types of cybercrimes, identification of people most affected by the cyber-attacks, identification of problems leading to data breaches, and remedies to cyber securities. While in the last five decades, there has been a constant improvement in the development of data protection Acts and policies around the world, little is documented on the basics of data protection for people working from home (Manesh & Kaabouch, 2019). Consequently, internet technologies have exposed many companies to cybercrime threats and risks resulting in financial losses.

The success of this research can be measured by making observations on the improvement in data protection and the development of policies that protect companies’ data from internal and external data breaches. The impacts of the research can be measured in terms of both long-term impacts and short influence of the research on internet users (Yaacoub et al., 2021). However, to measure the success of this research, the respondent companies and individuals are assessed to determine their understanding of the risks involved in cyber crimes. Enabling employees to develop an understanding of basic internet employment policies, identifying cybersecurity risks, and taking immediate steps to protect their data from cyber-attacks are the short-term measurement of success for the researcher. According to Yaacoub et al. (2021), a thriving research evaluation on cybersecurity and data protection policies for people working at home would consider a comprehensive analysis of cybersecurity threats, identification of possible problems, and identifying assets at risk. Therefore, upon detailing the risk determination techniques, prioritizing, and documentation of the risks solution, the research shall have answered all the research questions and achieved the aims and objectives. Consequently, creating an avenue for policies regulating remote jobs to maintain work ethics indicates the study’s success.

CONCLUSION

Working from home requires optimum cybersecurity and implementing policies protecting organizations, individuals, governments, and institutions from cyber-attacks. Even though cyber security threats are constantly evolving with the evolution of information technologies, it is essential for people working remotely and organizations whose employees work from home to consider adhering to cyber decency, honesty, and integrity. Working from home exposes people and organizational systems to expanded attack surfaces, vulnerable networks, clouded infrastructures, and undesirable work habits, from understanding cybersecurity threats, cyber-attacks, and cybercrimes. These values affect the productivity of the companies and cause a rapid loss of trust. Therefore, an intervention to reduce cyber security threats includes the identification of the most common attacks and the creation and implementation of data and asset protection policies to cover vulnerable operations and networks.

The research outlined the significance of cybersecurity and provided valuable information about cyber-attacks background and countermeasures for controlling cybercrimes. While some of the most dangerous causes of cyber threats and attacks are the inappropriate use of social media, many people, including remote workers, do not understand the implications of sharing credentials on social media and the weight of sharing information wrongly. Thus, through techniques such as surveys, web hits, and internet performance measures, the research can critically analyze the causes and remedies for cybersecurity threats within different platforms. Arguably, people working remotely require more data protection and adherence to policies safeguarding the wrongful access and usage of data.

References

Ahsan, M., Nygard, K. E., Gomes, R., Chowdhury, M. M., Rifat, N., & Connolly, J. F. (2022). Cybersecurity Threats and Their Mitigation Approaches Using Machine Learning—A Review. Journal of Cybersecurity and Privacy2(3), 527–555. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcp2030027

Almudaires, F., & Almaiah, M. (2021, July 1). Data an Overview of Cybersecurity Threats on Credit Card Companies and Credit Card Risk Mitigation. IEEE Xplore. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICIT52682.2021.9491114

Altulaihan, E., Almaiah, M. A., & Aljughaiman, A. (2022). Cybersecurity Threats, Countermeasures and Mitigation Techniques on the IoT: Future Research Directions. Electronics11(20), 3330. https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics11203330

Jia, M., Komeily, A., Wang, Y., & Srinivasan, R. S. (2019). Adopting Internet of Things for developing smart buildings: A review of enabling technologies and applications. Automation in Construction101, 111–126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autcon.2019.01.023

Lai, J., Song, X., Wang, R., & Li, X. (2022). Edge Intelligent Collaborative Privacy Protection Solution for Smart Medical. Cyber Security and Applications, 100010. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csa.2022.100010

Li, Y., & Liu, Q. (2021). A comprehensive review of cyber-attacks and cyber security; Emerging trends and recent developments. Energy Reports7. Sciencedirect. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egyr.2021.08.126

Manesh, M. R., & Kaabouch, N. (2019). Cyber Attacks on Unmanned Aerial System Networks: Detection, Countermeasure, and Future Research Directions. Computers & Security. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cose.2019.05.003

Offner, K. L., Sitnikova, E., Joiner, K., & MacIntyre, C. R. (2020). Understanding cybersecurity capability in Australian healthcare organizations: a systematic review of recent trends, threats, and mitigation. Intelligence and National Security35(4), 556–585. https://doi.org/10.1080/02684527.2020.1752459

Singh, S., Karimipour, H., HaddadPajouh, H., & Dehghantanha, A. (2020). Artificial Intelligence and Security of Industrial Control Systems. Handbook of Big Data Privacy, 121–164. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-38557-6_7

Yaacoub, J.-P. A., Noura, H. N., Salman, O., & Chehab, A. (2021). Robotics cyber security: vulnerabilities, attacks, countermeasures, and recommendations. International Journal of Information Security. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10207-021-00545-8

Cybersecurity in Workplace

Organizations must ensure that their network and sensitive data are secure in our internet-connected world. This will promote cybersecurity in respective workplaces. Notably, human errors are one of the major weaknesses that cyberattack criminals exploit. Thus, it is the role of every person in the workplace to ensure the security of their information (Google Help, 2016). There are various ways through which employees or members of an organization can promote cybersecurity in their workplaces. Companies should increase cybersecurity awareness among their employees, which would benefit the organization and workers. Here are several benefits of cybersecurity awareness in an organization and different ways to achieve it.

Increasingly promoting cybersecurity awareness in an organization protect the company from external cyber threats. External cyber threats are the major aspects affecting the cybersecurity of most companies. In this respect, companies must ensure that all employees know how to protect organizational information and personal data from external cyberattacks. Companies can do this by teaching employees different ways of protecting and securing personal information and network connections. Some of the most effective habits that a company may teach its workers include how to create strong passwords, the significance of installing updated antivirus software on their devices, keeping sensitive login credentials secure, and avoiding opening email attachments from an unknown sender (Oxen Technology, 2018). Awareness of these cybersecurity measures will help protect the organization and its employees from external attacks.

Consistently promoting cybersecurity awareness in an organization secures it from internal cyber threats. Notably, not all security threats come from outside the organization. People within the organization are a threat to the organization’s security too. They often threaten organizational security due to negligence, accidents, or possession of malicious behaviors. How employees can pose a security threat to an organization’s security is a question that intrigues many people. As a result, it is the role of an organization to educate its employees on the ways that they can pose security risks. This is part of cybersecurity awareness. Precisely, any person with network permission can unintentionally compromise or delete organizational data, which is an accidental behavior that can pose a great risk (Oxen Technology, 2018). Employees can also violate critical security policies exposing the organization to a security threat. This also refers to negligence even though a worker may have the best intentions when violating the policy. The last way that an employee can pose a risk to an organization is by cooperating with malicious insiders, which makes them do something to harm the organization.

In addition, promoting cybersecurity awareness equips workers with the necessary skills to safeguard private information with physical security and cautious behaviors. Noteworthy, strong security is not only always about the cyber domain, but it also involves physical security and behavior control (Oxen Technology, 2018). Companies must educate their employees on ways to enhance physical data security in workplaces and behaviors cautiousness in this respect. There are various ways that a company may use to achieve physical security and behavior caution awareness among their workers. For instance, they may provide training on non-technical security tips, such as never leaving their devices with strangers, browsing in private spaces, using dim lights when using computers in strange places, and never discussing sensitive information in public (Oxen Technology, 2018). When transferring data, the company must ensure its employees know how to verify receipts, data, and transfer methods to ensure the security of the information shared. Overall, promoting cyber security awareness among employees is one of the most efficient ways of ensuring the safety of organizational information and personal data. Everyone should be aware of their duties to promote cybersecurity in the workplace, which will help safeguard them and the organization from internal and external threats.

References

Google Help. (2016, September 14). How to Avoid Social Engineering Attacks [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEtvwzN_xJk

Oxen Technology. (2018, June 11). Basic Cybersecurity Tips for The Workplace. OXEN Technology. https://oxen.tech/blog/basic-cybersecurity-tips-workplace/