CyberWhite, a County Durham cyber security firm, has called for businesses to be vigilant when supporting staff working from home, including informing the individuals about how they could be the biggest threat.

The company, which is based is the Spectrum Business Park in Seaham, has been supporting firms which were concerned that their equipment may be vulnerable when staff needed to take laptops home or log into internal systems remotely.

In addition, smaller businesses or businesses that are unused to supporting remote access have raised concerns that they don’t have the equipment to support home working.

David Horn, Chief Technology Officer at CyberWhite, said: “Businesses are being forced to provision people for a working from home scenario, and for many firms, this isn’t the norm, so the infrastructure they need might not be in place. This means we’re having to give advice about the software they need to make this a feasible option.

“For customers that are maybe more accustomed to working from home, we’re being asked to carry out risk assessments or check the systems already in place, to give them peace of mind that what they’ve got currently is secure and up to standard in terms of governance or industry regulation guidelines.”

The firm has also identified that while individuals are adjusting to working from home, there has been an increase in phishing emails, which employees may mistakenly open, without the advice of management or IT departments available to them.

Matt Hewison, chief operating officer of CyberWhite, said: “We talk about risk a great deal with our customers and ensuring that their mitigation strategies are clear and concise so that the team understands what is expected of them.

“We often find that people are the biggest risk, which the industry calls ‘insider threat’, so we should focus on giving them the skills to become more aware of how cyber criminals are manipulating people into handing over their details using the fear and confusion caused by the coronavirus.

“We’d like to remind anyone working remotely to be vigilant of emails coming from an unusual source and not to open attachments from senders they don’t know or trust. If you are in any doubt, you should always consult your IT department, or check with a cyber security specialist.”