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Working from home is still leading to major cybersecurity issues

(Image credit: Image Credit: Gpointstudio / Shutterstock)

Since the shift to remote working, businesses have been exposed to far greater cyber risk - and have suffered more data breaches as a result.

This is according to a new report from cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes, which claims 20 percent of businesses have suffered a breach due to the actions of a remote worker since lockdown was introduced.

As a consequence, these businesses faced higher costs, with almost a quarter (24 percent) having faced unexpected expenses.

The report argues that remote workers cause more problems (opens in new tab)for businesses due to the use of personal devices for work, among other factors. Almost two thirds (61 percent) of businesses do not force their employees to use antivirus solutions on their personal devices.

Malwarebytes claims cybercriminals mostly target improperly secured corporate VPNs, cloud-based services and business email accounts.

Phishing emails are also listed as a major tool in the cybercriminal arsenal, often playing on Covid-19 themes to hook unwitting victims. These emails often smuggle malware - such as AveMaria and NetWiredRC -  onto the target machine, giving attackers remote desktop access, webcam control and more.

AveMaria incidences have spiked 1,219 percent since the start of the pandemic, according to Malwarebytes, mostly targeting employees of large enterprises. NetWiredRC encounters, meanwhile, increased by 99 percent between January and June.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.