Cybersecurity in Working from Home: An Exploratory Study

43 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2021 Last revised: 13 Oct 2021

See all articles by Mary Bispham

Mary Bispham

University of Oxford - Department of Computer Science

Sadie Creese

University of Oxford

William H. Dutton

University of Southern California; GCSCC Computer Science University of Oxford

Patricia Esteve-Gonzalez

University of Oxford - Department of Computer Science

Michael Goldsmith

University of Oxford

Date Written: August 1, 2021

Abstract

This paper presents the findings of an exploratory study of the implications of a shift to working from home (WFH) in the context of the COVID pandemic. The literature and news coverage of this topic focuses on rising concerns over cybersecurity, but exploratory interviews suggest a need to reframe this issue. A focus on the threats or rising security problems tied to WFH is important but too narrow. An equally critical question is whether early experiences with and adaptation to WFH created a cybersecurity infrastructure and practices that have enabled a much greater scale of WFH. In essence, for some kinds of work for some types of individuals, is it possible that advances in cybersecurity have been an enabler of WFH and other remote telework, rather than a barrier? This question provides a basis for expanding research on whether cybersecurity is a barrier or enabler of WFH patterns, including many mixed or hybrid modes of splitting work between the office, home and other remote locations. Given the issues tied to the limited perspectives of even those with expertise in support of WFH, we suggest the basic need for survey research and selected case studies on several well-defined sets of individuals to gain a more empirically anchored perspective on whether cybersecurity has shifted from a barrier to becoming an enabler of remote work.

Keywords: cybersecurity, working, working from home, Internet, remote work

Suggested Citation

Bispham, Mary and Creese, Sadie and Dutton, William H. and Esteve-Gonzalez, Patricia and Goldsmith, Michael, Cybersecurity in Working from Home: An Exploratory Study (August 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3897380 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3897380

Mary Bispham

University of Oxford - Department of Computer Science

Wolfson Building, Parks Road
Oxford
United Kingdom

Sadie Creese

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

William H. Dutton (Contact Author)

University of Southern California ( email )

3502 Watt Way #304
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

GCSCC Computer Science University of Oxford ( email )

Department of Computer Science
Robert Hooke Bldg 010
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3PR
United Kingdom

Patricia Esteve-Gonzalez

University of Oxford - Department of Computer Science ( email )

Wolfson Building, Parks Road
Oxford
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/people/patricia.esteve-gonzalez/

Michael Goldsmith

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

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