Are Home Networks a Cyber Risk for Your Business?
It’s not uncommon for staff to take home a company laptop and connect it to their domestic network. That network may be protected by a firewall but internally it is still vulnerable. For example, other devices may be connected, such as family members’ PCs and smartphones, as well as smart TVs, DVD recorders, child monitors, CCTV systems, and even fridges. All of these are capable of being hacked.
Infections From Other Networks
A company laptop may become infected by a virus initiated from another network-connected device. There have been cases of someone else, perhaps a child, using the laptop to surf the Internet unsupervised and allowing the machine to be infected by malware. The staff member then unwittingly spread the infection when the laptop was reconnected to the company network.
The same can apply to smartphones that are connected to both home and company networks.
Cyber Risk from smart TVs and other domestic wi-fi-capable devices
The manufacturers of smart TVs and other domestic wi-fi-capable devices do not usually update their software outside that model’s maintenance cycle, so older devices will not get updates at all. Any infection will spread though the home network.
The best way to avoid contaminating a company network is to insist that strong anti-malware software is installed on every device that may be connected.
Staff should also be encouraged to run two separate networks on their routers. One network should then be used exclusively for the company laptop or smartphone; the other for everything else.
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