(Bloomberg) -- Working from home during the pandemic cost German companies some 53 billion euros ($62 billion) worth of damages from cyber attacks, according to estimates by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research.

Overall damages hit a record 224 billion euros last year, more than double the value reported in a 2019 survey. Increased remote work accounted for about a quarter of the increase, according to researcher Barbara Engels, whose calculations are based on a Bitkom survey.

“Too often there were no company laptops, no training courses and no security concepts,” Engels said. She reckons the actual number of damages could be higher, since the survey data didn’t include smaller companies that are likely to struggle more in terms of safeguarding their IT.

Home WiFi connections are typically easier to hack than company networks, and only 16% of German companies ramped up their IT security budgets during the pandemic, according to a separate survey by the Federal Office for Information Security. Many companies across the globe are now considering implementing permanent work-from-home arrangements to offer employees greater flexibility.

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