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Organisations struggling to provide necessary security to support remote working

By Shannon Williams, Fri 24 Sep 2021

Organisations are struggling to provide necessary remote security to support work-from-home capabilities, a new report has revealed.

Palo Alto Networks has issued The State of Hybrid Workforce Security 2021 report, which analyses the responses of more than 3,000 enterprise information technology professionals in multiple markets involved in information security, network operations and application development. 

The study aimed to understand the impact the immediate shift to remote work had on network security infrastructure, and how the experience affected hybrid workforce network security strategies with the realisation that work is an activity, not a place.

The report highlights several priorities that network and security professionals have as they look to secure their organisations’ hybrid workforce.

Hard Decisions for Network and Security Teams

As network and security professionals who are always in a high stakes game of whack-a-mole, but based on the discovery of this survey, maintaining comprehensive network security is now their key challenge.

51% of survey respondents stated they have difficulty in maintaining comprehensive network security. Perhaps what’s even more concerning is that 61% of respondents noted they struggle to provide the necessary remote security to support work-from-home capabilities.

At the beginning of the pandemic, most organisations’ immediate concern was how to stay running and keep people working even if they couldn’t return physically to the workplace. According to the survey, this immediate shift to remote work turned network access and network security into equally high, yet competing, priorities for network and security professionals. Ultimately, network access emerged the winner.

The report found many leaders fear that shortcuts were taken that now put their organisations at higher risk. It found 48% of organisations admitted to compromising security and increasing security risk through lax enforcement of security policies and allowing employees more leeway than what was normally acceptable. Furthermore, 53% of organisations who prioritised remote access over security are now exposed to significant security risks from unchecked acceptable use policy violations and unsanctioned application usage. 

From Remote Work Reaction to Secure Hybrid Workforce Transformation   

The State of Hybrid Workforce Security 2021 report tells organisations how cloud-delivered network security is important to them:

  • 94% of people are considering a hybrid workforce model in the next 12 months.
  • 71% of people are planning to move security mostly or fully to the cloud in the next 24 months.
  • 54% of people anticipate spending more than US$5 million on remote security in the next 12 months.

 

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