…overdependency on untested technologies, new vulnerabilities in systems, poorly constructed policies and a lack of training for a remote workforce has meant that organizations are facing a deluge of cyber-threats…
Daniel Norman, Senior Solutions Analyst at the ISF
The longer spell of remote working has led to more concerns about the capability of tools along with an acceptance of the importance of cybersecurity to the business.
According to the research of 2600 businesses by Cisco, two-thirds (62%) of respondents said more than half of their workforce were working remotely, with 85% saying that cybersecurity is now extremely important or more important than it was before the pandemic.
Secure access was determined as the top cybersecurity challenge faced by the largest proportion of organizations (62%) when supporting remote workers. Other concerns raised by organizations globally included data privacy (55%) and maintaining control and enforcing policies (50%).
Daniel Norman, senior solutions analyst at the Information Security Forum, said the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted particular shortcomings across the technical responses for many organizations. “Many multi-nationals’ technical crisis management and business continuity plans were inadequately positioned to enable a secure remote working environment for a global workforce, and those that have made the adaptations have been rushed and ad hoc,” he said.
“Many organizations prioritized productivity and operational success over security and privacy. At the start of the pandemic “keeping the lights on” was a frequently used strategy – however, over time, overdependency on untested technologies, new vulnerabilities in systems, poorly constructed policies and a lack of training for a remote workforce has meant that organizations are facing a deluge of cyber-threats, alongside an emergence of cyber-risks from their own workforce.”
The Cisco research also found that 61% of respondents stated their organizations experienced a jump of 25% or more in cyber-threats and alerts since the start of COVID-19. Norman said: “Training a remote workforce to manage emerging cyber-risks is also a challenge to do well. Remote working will likely never go away now, with many individuals preferring remote work to office work, so organizations face a choice – invest now and secure the crumbling infrastructure and fatigued workforce, or risk compromise.”