Study: Security Execs Had to Make Quick Decisions on Work-From-Home Shift

A third of respondents to a new study on cybersecurity strategy say that they basically were unprepared for the sudden move to go remote—leading to off-the-shelf solutions heading home with employees.

There wasn’t a lot of time to shift gears when the COVID-19 crisis broke out in a big way—and that led to some tough decisions for tech execs as they tried to make sense of the new climate.

But with a sudden shift to 75 percent of employees working remote in 2020, according to Cybersecurity Insiders and Pulse Secure, executives needed a way to secure their employees, and ultimately, the solutions were very much off-the-shelf options, according to the companies’ 2020 Remote Work-From-Home Cybersecurity Report [registration].

The study of 400-plus IT security decision makers found that more than half of respondents (54 percent) had less than a week to prepare, and a third weren’t sufficiently prepared for such a shift. That led to solutions such as antivirus/anti-malware (77 percent), firewalls (77 percent), virtual private networks (66 percent), and multifactor authentication (66 percent) finding quick use, according to the report.

“Beyond potentially impacting user productivity, this emergency workplace shift and rapid need for remote work capacity threatened IT infrastructure, business continuity and information security,” wrote Cybersecurity Insiders’ CEO and founder, Holger Schulze, in the report.

There were, of course, other concerns for IT pros as well, with issues of training (59 percent), home network security (56 percent), and use of personal devices (43 percent) ranking near the top.

The mixture of concerns—along with the growing likelihood of an increased reliance on work-from-home by employers—is leading IT executives to take a close look at their budgets. More than half (55 percent) estimate that their organization’s workforce security budgets will increase over the next year, likely reflecting the fact that a third of organizations expect some employees to move to a remote environment permanently.

“Beyond offering a wake-up call for emergency preparedness, the findings indicate a strong likelihood of organizations permanently extending work-from-home flexibility and advancing secure access capabilities,” explained Scott Gordon, Pulse Secure’s chief marketing officer, in a news release.

(simpson33/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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