Fortinet has shared the 2020 Remote Workforce Cybersecurity Report.
Rajesh Maurya, Regional Vice President, India & SAARC, at Fortinet said, “The COVID-19 pandemic will have lasting effects on how organizations invest in cybersecurity. In fact, over 90% of enterprises plan to invest more to secure telework over the next two years. Given a dramatically expanded digital attack surface, the waves of cyber threats targeting remote workers, and the ongoing cyber skills gap, organizations need to carefully consider what technologies and approaches are needed to secure their telework strategies long-term. They have an opportunity to maximize their investments with cybersecurity platforms designed to provide comprehensive visibility and protection across the entire digital infrastructure, including networked, application, multi-cloud, and mobile environments. This ongoing shift to remote work will also require more than just technology; cybersecurity training and awareness should also remain key priorities.”
The Sudden Shift to Telework Was Challenging for Most Organizations
- As the COVID-19 pandemic spread rapidly in the first half of 2020, many organizations were required to shift to telework practically overnight as teams around the globe were asked to stay home. Nearly two-thirds of the firms surveyed had to rapidly transition over half of their workforce to telework. In addition, most respondents said the rapid change presented a challenge to their organization, with 83% citing it as moderately, very, or extremely challenging. Only 3% were not at all challenged.
- In addition, the evolving remote work environment, increased reliance on personal device usage, and overall influx of workers outside the corporate network opened an opportunity for unprecedented cyber threat activity. From opportunistic phishers to scheming nation-state actors, cyber adversaries found multiple ways to exploit the global pandemicfor their benefit at enormous scale as evidenced by a recent FortiGuard Labs Global Threat Landscape Report. Threats included phishing and business email compromise schemes, nation-state backed campaigns, and ransomware attacks. In fact, 60% of organizations revealed an increase in cybersecurity breach attempts during the transition to remote work, while 34% reported actual breaches in their networks.
- With a spike in employees remotely connecting to the corporate network, an increase in breach attempts and overall cyber attacks, organizations cited the most challenging aspects of this transition as ensuring secure connections, business continuity, and access to business-critical applications.
- At the time of the survey enterprises had already invested in key technologies as a result of the pandemic. Nearly half of organizations invested further in VPN and cloud security, while nearly 40% invested further in skilled IT professionals or network access control (NAC).