The return of office work could bring about a perfect storm of cyber security dangers, some experts have warned.

With many of Britain’s workers gearing up to head back to the office, businesses have been urged to make sure their defences are up to scratch, to combat the myriad threats that could be brought into the office on returning staff devices.

Though most businesses have strict policies on what can and can’t be done on work devices, a large number of people are expected to have used the extra processing power of their work laptops, tablets or smartphones to browse the web, download apps or even play games during leisure time. This, some experts have warned, could well give enterprising hackers an easy route into enterprise networks.

On top of this, there’s an inherent threat that comes with the huge increase in use of new technologies – as companies roll out productivity tools or conferencing systems that their staff have little experience working with. This unfamiliarity provides fertile ground for hackers looking to exploit people making honest mistakes with systems they’re still trying to figure out.

These threats may not just present themselves when people head back to the office, but for the foreseeable future too. A recent PwC report found that 77% of businesses expect to increase their digital transformation spend over the remainder of 2021. With the roll-out of these technologies comes the risk that users will continue to leave loopholes that hackers can exploit.

The good news is that many businesses are already aware of these potential threats. The same PwC report found 91% of business owners put cyber security as one of the biggest dangers they face. In fact, only pandemics and other such health crises polled higher.

Head of clients and markets at PwC, Marco Amitrano, told “Prioritising organic growth and sensible cost efficiency are ‘no regrets’ moves. But in a period of disruption, where the role of technology has been more critical than ever, so is digital transformation. And acting to protect your business from cyber attack, when it relies more than ever on technology, is perhaps the epitome of a ‘no regret’ move.”