IDG Report: Shifting Cybersecurity to Support the Expanded Remote Workforce

September 30, 2020
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The COVID-19 pandemic spurred a seismic shift in work patterns and processes, forcing a rapid pivot to remote work and upending traditional IT management. IT leaders have been forced to reevaluate technology initiatives and rethink current and future policies to secure a newly far-flung workforce.

A recent survey by IDG and Comcast Business shows that the changes to the traditional workplace are just beginning. The number of remote workers is expected to increase by nearly a third this year and into 2021, causing most organizations to dial up their investments in remote IT operations and cybersecurity solutions to fend off an ever-changing and ever-growing slate of cybersecurity threats.

The survey of IT decision makers also uncovered insights around the changing nature of cybersecurity policies, procedures, and strategy, including a widespread reevaluation of wide-area network (WAN) infrastructure and investments, accelerating deployment of new security technology, the adoption of new approaches like “zero trust” policies, and changing attitudes around managed security services.

Here some additional key findings from the study:

  • Organizations are rethinking cloud security: Respondents were nearly unanimous in their concerns around the security challenges of an increasing reliance on the cloud. In fact, 98% said that securing applications, data, and infrastructure in the cloud is “very” or “somewhat” challenging. Main areas of concern included data theft (36%), lack of skilled staff to manage cloud security (36%), and advanced threats facing cloud providers (35%).

  • Remote workers need business-grade bandwidth: Among organizations that have moved at least a third of their workforce remote, increasing network speed (75%) and providing access to data (69%) are chief concerns. Businesses – and their remote workers – continue to struggle with bandwidth, so organizations are increasingly looking to provide at-home workers with enterprise-grade connectivity.

  • Managed security services are in demand: Almost all respondents (99%) reported that they will need managed security services as they expand remote work capacity, allowing organizations to more easily extend data protection across the new distributed workplace. Companies pointed to specific requirements from service providers, including disaster recovery and business continuity (43%), expert guidance (40%), and managed detection and response (36%).

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To learn more about how IT decision-makers are rethinking their cybersecurity priorities, download the full IDG report: “Shifting Cybersecurity to Support the Expanded Remote Workforce.”

The latest research from IDG on how organizations are supporting the remote work environment.

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