Major cyber security gaps remain after a year of remote work, research shows - The EE

Major cyber security gaps remain after a year of remote work, research shows

Anurag Kahol of Bitglass

The majority of organisations (57%) still have over three-quarters of their teams working remotely, according to a new report. An overwhelming 90% of organisations said they are likely to continue these increased levels of remote work in the future due to productivity benefits.

Additionally, 53% of companies said they are looking to make some positions permanently remote after the COVID crisis ends a much higher rate than when the pandemic began (33%).

The results are drawn from the 2021 Remote Workforce Security Report, by Bitglass, a cloud security company. Bitglass surveyed IT and security professionals to understand how remote work has transformed the state of security operations over the last year.

Navigating key cybersecurity concerns

Despite experiencing a full year of remote work, many organisations are still feeling worried and unprepared for securing off-premises users. The biggest remote work security concerns stem from data leaking through endpoints (68%), users connecting with unmanaged devices (59%), and access from outside the perimetre (56%). These concerns are followed by maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements (45%), remote access to core business apps (42%), and loss of visibility over user activity (42%).

Strategic investments are still needed to secure the cloud

Security professionals recognise that the remote state of operations requires an increasingly cloud-centric IT ecosystem, with 71% agreeing that their organisation will shift away from on-premises appliances and tools in favour of the cloud for enabling remote work.

However, while organisations are using a variety of controls to secure remote work, most are still facing the challenges that come with using legacy tools that are not well suited for the modern enterprise. For example, bandwidth restrictions, which have massive ramifications for security solution scalability, were cited as the leading barrier to securing remote work at 41%. In part because of this issue, the majority of organisations (55%) also reported that relying upon VPN had proven challenging over the last year.

“Enabling the modern workforce requires more flexible IT ecosystems and calls for increased reliance on the cloud, as well as cloud security tools,” says Anurag Kahol, CTO of Bitglass. “As we look ahead to what work will be like after COVID-19, there will be a need for a mixed IT and security environment as people will work both on and off-premises. Embracing the cloud is critical for enabling this and should happen sooner rather than later.”

To download the full report click here.

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