Today we released our 2021 Remote Workforce Security Report. We surveyed 287 IT and security professionals to understand how remote work has transformed the state of security operations over the last year.
Data from this year’s report shows that the majority of organizations (57%) still have over three-quarters of their teams working remotely. An overwhelming 90% of organizations said they are likely to continue these increased levels of remote work in the future due to productivity gains. Additionally, 53% of companies said they are looking to make some positions permanently remote after the COVID crisis ends--a much higher rate than when the pandemic began (33%). It seems that the increased productivity provided by remote work is creating tangible benefits for employers.
Biggest Concern: Data Leakage through Remote User Devices
Even after a full year of remote work, many organizations are still unprepared for securing off-premises users. The biggest concerns stem from data leakage through endpoints (68%), users connecting with unmanaged devices (59%), and access from outside the perimeter (56%). Other concerns include maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements (45%), remote access to core business apps (42%), and loss of visibility over user activity (42%). To address these concerns, organizations need to turn to the appropriate IT and security systems that are designed for our modern work environment.
Cloud-Centric Tools Beat On-Premises Tools for Securing Remote Work
Security professionals recognize that the increase in off-premises work requires a more cloud-centric IT ecosystem, with 71% agreeing that their organization will shift away from on-premises appliances and tools in favor of the cloud for enabling remote work.
Unfortunately, while organizations are using a variety of controls to secure remote work, most are still facing the challenges that come with using legacy tools that are not well suited for the modern enterprise. For example, bandwidth restrictions, which have massive ramifications for security solution scalability, were cited as the leading barrier to securing remote work at 41%. In part because of this issue, the majority of organizations (55%) also reported that relying upon VPN had proven challenging over the last year.
To learn more about the state of cybersecurity within the remote workforce over the past year, download the full report below.