European employers rarely secure the home networks of employees. At the same time, smart consumer devices are increasingly popular. “The perfect conditions for cybercriminals”, BlackBerry warns in a new report.

The organization spoke with thousands of remote workers across Europe. 25 percent said their employer is uninvolved or unclear regarding the security of home networks. Less than half say they have a secure home internet connection. The majority are not required to use a VPN.

BlackBerry finds the situation alarming. Smart consumer devices are increasingly popular. Vulnerabilities in connected home devices can provide network access. From there, the corporate network is at risk. Security measures reduce the risk, but security measures are rarely taken. The vast majority of European employees indicated that their employer does little to nothing to secure home devices.

Employees themselves rarely consider the issue. When purchasing smart home devices, the price, usability and convenience were more important factors than cybersecurity. Less than half said security software is installed on their home devices. Roughly 75 percent indicated that their company has no policy for smart devices and remote work.

Perfect storm

“Smart devices are increasingly finding their way into our homes”, commented John Schaap, Senior Director Benelux & Nordics at BlackBerry Cybersecurity. “This introduces an increased risk. Unsecured devices are the perfect target for cybercriminals.”

Schaap explains that BlackBerry expects a wave of cyberattacks in the coming months. Inflation rises, economists warn of recessions and cybersecurity insurance costs grow. According to Schaap, the conditions are optimal for cybercrime. A ‘perfect storm’, as the Americans say.

BlackBerry calls on companies to pay more attention to the cybersecurity of home networks. “Smart devices are increasingly common in home office”, Schaap emphasizes. “Let’s keep them both smart and secure as we prepare for the challenging economic times ahead.”

Tip: Data privacy: from necessary security step to competitive advantage