The Top Risks of Using Your Home Computer for Work: Cybersecurity Threats and Lack of Updates

15 March 2023

The shift towards remote work has brought new risks and challenges, especially when it comes to using personal computers for work purposes. Two significant risks that arise from using your home computer for work are cybersecurity threats and a lack of updates.

home computer risk

One recent example of a cybersecurity threat involved LastPass, a widely used password manager. In August 2022, the company announced that it had suffered a security breach that resulted in the theft of user data from Amazon AWS cloud servers. According to the company, the breach was caused by stolen credentials from a DevOps engineer’s home computer, allowing hackers to access the cloud servers.

This incident highlights the risks of using a home computer for work, especially when dealing with sensitive company data. An unsecured computer can become an entry point for attackers looking to steal credentials and gain access to the company’s network.

lack of updates

Another risk associated with using your home computer for work is the need for updates. In many cases, home computer users may not keep their systems updated with the latest security patches, leading to vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit.

For example, the WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017 exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that had been patched two months earlier. Many organizations were affected by this attack because they had not installed the security update, leaving them vulnerable to the ransomware.

To prevent similar incidents, it’s crucial to keep your home computer up to date with the latest security patches and software updates. This includes regularly updating your operating system, web browsers, and other applications to address known security vulnerabilities.

In conclusion, the risks of using a home computer for work are significant, and taking proactive measures to protect your personal and company data is essential. However, the best way to mitigate these risks is to use a company-issued laptop or computer designed for work purposes.

To ensure the security of their data and networks, companies should provide business laptops to staff that need to work remotely. These laptops should be pre-installed with security software and configured to comply with the company’s security policies and procedures.

Additionally, companies should communicate their policies around using personal computers for work and prohibit their use for work purposes. This will help prevent employees from accidentally exposing the company to cybersecurity threats using unsecured devices.

By following these best practices, companies can help ensure the security of their data and networks while enabling their employees to work remotely safely and effectively.

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