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Working from home securely

Published March 2020

We are living in extraordinary times

Hear from our Chief Information Security Officer, Lynwen Connick, about
how ANZ is facing the security risks arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.


Pictured: Lynwen Connick, ANZ's Chief Information Security Officer

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly changed the way we work and communicate with each other as nations swiftly roll out sweeping measures to slow the spread of the virus.

This brings new opportunities and new challenges for individuals and organisations, including working from home. As the lines between work and home are blurred, organisations must ensure their staff are working safely and are continuing to share and transmit information securely.

As we face into the physical risks and put extensive measures into place, we must also consider the virtual risks associated with the COVID-19 crisis.

The increase in malicious activity against companies and individuals makes it more important than ever you and your organisation are prepared with the simple things you can do to protect your virtual valuables.

We know there is a lot to consider right now – so we have put together some tips for both organisations and individuals to help you and your staff work from home securely.

We are all in this together, take care and stay safe.

Lynwen Connick

Chief Information Security Officer, ANZ

Cybersecurity matters
right now

Working from home more than ever

As organisations have activated business continuity plans to respond to this crisis, there has been a dramatic and swift increase in the number of employees working remotely. In the United States alone, it has been estimated that up to 75 million employees (over 55% of the workforce) could be working from home because of COVID-19.disclaimer Transitioning, on scale, to these new ways of working requires consideration for how we continue to operate with effective risk controls and keep protecting valuable data and critical systems. 


Concerns over cyber security

With unprecedented global interest in a single topic, there is an increasing number of threat actors, both cybercriminal and state-sponsored, leveraging this pandemic. This includes a dramatic rise in fake email (phishing) and text (smishing) campaigns. These messages often impersonate official COVID-19 information providers such as government agencies or offer scarce supplies such as face masks. 

The Australian Cyber Security Centre has reported an increase in COVID-19 related scams and phishing emails. They have observed thousands of newly registered websites relating to COVID-19. Some are legitimate, but many are suspected to have been created for malicious purposes.disclaimer ANZ Cyber Defence are monitoring COVID-19 related phishing campaigns, and are working closely with partners to ensure robust controls are in place to protect ANZ customers and systems.


Managing security risks

Increased use of collaboration tools by remote workers, such as free cloud-based video conferencing and chat services introduce a number of risks if they are not within a company’s existing controls. There is increasing concern about the access a number of these free tools provide and the level of protection provided to personal information required to establish accounts. 

It’s important to turn on your automatic app and software updates on all devices to ensure you have the the most recent and secure version. Using tools provided, tested, approved and monitored by your organisations is essential. It’s also advised where possible to keep work and leisure separate by using a personal device for non-work related online activities. 


Staying safe and cyber secure

Now, more than ever, it is critical your employees understand their responsibilities and how they can help protect your company’s information, and how they can work from home securely. 

ANZ takes the protection of our customers, staff and assets very seriously. We operate a global security operations centre that proactively manages our environment to ensure we adhere to strict government, privacy and regulatory requirements for information security. We are providing a range of support measures to our customers and will continue to do this throughout this challenging period.


For more information and tips on how to be safe online, visit ANZ CyberSecure or download Cybersecurity working from home


You may also be interested in

Working from home tips
for organisations

Working securely and maintaining visibility of where important information is stored and shared. 

Learn more

Working from home tips
for individuals

Bringing our work practices of information handling and cyber security into our homes. 

Learn more

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This information seeks to raise awareness and provides general information only. It may be necessary or appropriate  to ensure that measures are taken in addition to, or in substitution for, the measures presented having regard to your particular personal or business circumstances.