Surge in security concerns due to remote working during COVID-19 crisis
Forty-six per cent of global businesses encountered at least one cybersecurity scare since shifting to remote working model during COVID-19 lockdown. This is the key result from research by Barracuda Networks, a provider for cloud-enabled security solutions. Forty-nine per cent also said they expect a data breach or cybersecurity incident in the next month due to remote working.
The global survey was undertaken from responses of over 1,000 business decision-makers in the UK, US, France and Germany. Fifty-one per cent said they have already seen an increase in email phishing attacks since shifting to a remote working model.
Was Remote Working a surprise?
The increase in attacks aimed at businesses is a result of a rushed, insecure execution remote working model. Fifty-one per cent of business decision-makers agreed their workforce is not proficient or properly trained in cyber risks associated with long-term remote working. Additionally, 46% claimed they are not confident that their web applications are completely secure. Furthermore, 50% have allowed employees to use personal email addresses and personal devices to conduct company work.
Worryingly, 41% have admitted to cutting cybersecurity budget as a cost-saving measure to help tackle the COVID-19 crisis.
According to the survey, 55% of respondents said they would not have implemented remote working within the next five years. More than half (56%) of respondents said they plan to continue widespread remote working after the crisis is over.
Another transition that has sped up in response to the current situation is the shift to the cloud. Fifty-three per cent reported the COVID-19 crisis made them accelerate plans for moving all their data to 100% cloud-based model. A change that will have a long-term impact on how organisations operate. Fifty per cent said they would consider workforce reductions if it meant company data protection and security could be properly funded.
In the UK, 41% surveyed was threatened by at least one cybersecurity scare since shifting to remote working model. Forty-one per cent also expect to see a data breach in the next month due to remote working.
Furthermore, 48 per cent in the UK had also reported an increase in email phishing attacks. Forty-two per cent are not confident that web applications are completely secure. Forty-four per cent believe their workforce is not properly trained in the cyber risks associated with long-term remote working. Thirty-nine per cent have allowed employees to use personal email addresses and devices to conduct company work. Meanwhile, 37% have already cut their cybersecurity budget to help tackle COVID-19.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean?
It seems that need to deliver remote working has caught many organisations out. Organisations are also unprepared and are struggling to deliver secure systems to employees. This is despite the trend towards flexible working over the last few years. Organisations need to consider future requirements for their technology and not just budget to keep the lights running.
Companies also need to better consider their security spending. Risk is an argument that technology leaders can take to the boardroom. The size of fines levied by regulators is now substantial and COVID-19 may not be an excuse, though it does make the decision to invest in security rather than survival much harder.