The coronavirus pandemic is fuelling uncertainty for many business but the rise of working from home is leading to huge growth for firms operating virtual private networks (VPN), with the UK experiencing a 48.1% growth in the use of business VPNs over the past fortnight alone.
According to global figures released by NordVPN, business VPN usage in the Netherlands (+240.49%), Canada (+206.29%) and Austria (+207.86%) has seen the biggest growth, while Italy has had the most modest growth at just 10.57%.
Not that home-workers are enjoying much "home time", it seems; working hours have increased by an average of two hours a day – from 9 to 11 hours - during the same period. However, it is the US which has seen the biggest time extension of the normal working day, adding an extra three hours.
Mass remote working in the UK has also contributed towards an increase in the use of both desktops (42.66%) and mobile apps (20.44%). Notably, desktop usage in Austria has grown the most, at 161.15%. Whilst mobile app usage in Netherlands has soared to 44.09%.
Surprisingly, Belgium has seen a 16.67% decline in mobile apps usage, though desktop usage has flourished by 96.63%.
Elsewhere, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has issued security advice on using VPN services and remote working in order to help both organisations and employees stay safe from cyberattacks.
The advice includes recommendations for staff to use strong passwords and to use multi-factor authentication, if available, in order to reduce the chances of cyber criminals being able to compromise accounts.