ManageEngine Study Finds Companies Are Slow in Addressing Security Concerns for Remote Workforces

ManageEngine Study Finds Companies Are Slow in Addressing Security Concerns for Remote Workforces
Rajesh Ganesan

ManageEngine, the enterprise IT management division of Zoho Corporation, today announced results from its recent market study, The 2021 Digital Readiness Survey, finding that barely half (56%) of organisations worldwide have changed their cybersecurity policies amid the shift to remote work and rising cyberattacks on the remote workforce.

The 2021 Digital Readiness Survey polled 1,210 IT executives and technology professionals from Singapore, India, North America, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. In Singapore, over 100 personnel from organisations with more than 500 employees across 16 industry verticals completed the survey.

The survey revealed a dismal rate of implementing Zero Trust strategies among firms. Zero Trust is a model in which anything and everything trying to connect to an IT system is verified first before access is granted. Singapore firms fare relatively better in adopting a Zero Trust approach to safeguard their networks, with 40% of respondents stating they have implemented Zero Trust compared to the global average of 31%, which indicates that companies worldwide are yet to fully embrace the model.  

An overwhelming majority (93%) of global respondents revealed that multiple security threats have increased as a result of the pandemic, with 84% reporting that remote workers have placed additional challenges on security infrastructures.

The survey also found that the threat of shadow IT looms large, with 78% of global respondents mentioning that remote workers download software without obtaining approval from the IT department, which significantly escalates the potential for security breaches and data loss. In particular, Singapore firms were increasingly vulnerable due to the unauthorised installation of software, especially online meeting tools (59%), mobile applications (43%) and document sharing solutions (42%).

Other Key Findings From the Survey

  • Over the next two years, 96% of global respondents expect their organisations to support remote workers.
  • The pandemic has increased the reliance on cloud solutions, but 56% of global respondents said cloud security remains a top concern.
  • The top three security concerns for businesses globally were phishing (52%), attacks on endpoint networks including employee devices at home and edge networks (42%) and malware (40%). 
  • Global respondents ranked improving security as the top driver for technology adoption at 56%, while the top driver for Singaporean firms was increased reliability while making decisions (62%).

“It is concerning that some companies are more serious about security than others. Companies must enact a firm security stance by training employees, investing in preventative solutions and taking a Zero Trust approach, in which even those in higher positions in the company are not automatically given total access to sensitive information,” said Rajesh Ganesan, vice president of ManageEngine. “Hopefully, this report can serve as a wake-up call for organisations, including those in Southeast Asia, as they plan out their security strategy and can encourage them to take a proactive approach.”

Visit ManageEngine’s website to access The 2021 Digital Readiness Survey infographic.

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