It was commonly agreed, as 2020 concluded, that remote work was here to stay. In fact, during the first lockdown, 60 percent of the UK workforce migrated to a remote model, and the trend will likely continue long after the pandemic as employees come to demand more flexibility from their employers.
Although this may inspire office workers across the globe to celebrate the demise of the morning commute, there is, however, a darker side to working remotely. A remote working survey of 2000 US and UK customers reveals that 34% of firms have reported a breach since the pandemic introduced the remote working community of today – rising to a staggering 48% in the US!
OneLogin conducted the latest COVID-19 State of Remote Work Survey 2.0. This survey was conducted in December 2020 with 2000 remote staff from the US and UK. The survey was carried out online and broken down by nationality, country, age, gender, job position, industry, and seniority in a business.
The survey found that not only have workers felt pressure to return to their workplaces but that since they started remote work, 34 percent of those surveyed globally have encountered some kind of violation. This suggests that a large number of businesses have not set up the necessary infrastructure to promote the enormous shift needed by COVID-19 towards remote work.
The survey, which surveyed 1000 remote employees in the United Kingdom and 1000 in the United States, also found that US businesses have reported breaches at a far higher rate than their UK counterparts, with 48% reporting, compared to only 17% of UK businesses, and large organizations are far more likely than small organizations to have been breached: companies with more than 250 employees reported 26 percent more breaches than companies with 1-9 employees.
For an enterprise, all data breaches are profoundly troubling, and it is definitely a disturbing statistic for such large numbers to be recorded in duality with remote work. These results indicate that a large percentage of businesses, particularly in the US, were woefully unprepared for the onset of remote work. To understand the reasons why these violations occurred, it is important that all organizations – particularly those violated – conduct a comprehensive security audit.
Tips To Stay Safe
Another important move in keeping the enterprise secure from attacks is to ensure that the security best practices are followed by your staff. To do this, we’ve given some practical tips. For instance:
- Do not share your work device with friends or family members: 26 percent of respondents confessed to doing so.
- Do not download personal apps to a business device: 23 percent of respondents admitted doing this.
- Don’t work on non-protected public Wi-Fi: 22 percent of respondents admitted doing this.
- Do not share your corporate password with others: 12 percent of respondents admitted that they did this.
- Do not leave the business gadgets in a public space unattended: 10 percent of respondents confessed to doing this.
- Encourage your business to engage in multi-factor authentication (MFA), which provides you with several layers of protection: just 36 percent of respondents recommended the implementation of MFA.
Now it is known that remote work will continue well into the future. And cybersecurity, as always, will remain important for all organizations. Therefore, enterprises would do well to deploy the latest data analytics and security solutions. These solutions, with their best-in-class features, will strengthen the security posture of organizations and deliver robust data protection.