The state of remote access security
At the end of 2013, HOB conducted a survey of more than 200 CIOs and CTOs in the U.S. The survey quantified the trends and challenges IT decision makers experience when implementing remote access solutions and revealed that remote access solutions are still gaining momentum, despite the associated security risks.
One key finding of the survey revealed that employees are becoming increasingly more flexible when using remote access solutions. It is no surprise that 76 percent of respondent’s employees access their organization’s server when they are away from the office. However, 58 percent of employees are using remote access solutions when they are in the office but while working from other locations within the on-site work environment.
Also, 54 percent of respondents believe that their employees are using their personal mobile devices to access corporate servers. Businesses must acknowledge that employees in the mobile workforce are accessing corporate servers more frequently and consequently, need to adjust the IT infrastructure to accommodate employees’ preference for flexibility.
The survey also revealed that, even though most companies are already using remote access solutions, CIOs and CEOs still have security concerns. 66 percent of respondents worry that hackers may gain access to the network during employee remote access sessions.
Moreover, 56 percent are highly concerned with employees accessing the network through their personal devices, and another 50 percent of CTOs and CIOs find errors by their own IT team to be among the most troubling remote access security issues, as these errors leave the network open for intrusions. These results suggest that companies need to formulate clear rules for employees accessing corporate servers.
Despite security concerns, remote access solutions are deployed amongst the majority of businesses and used by employees as well as CTOs and CIOs. The results of the survey also indicate that the future demand for remote access solutions will not decrease in years to come. In fact, more than 72 percent of the respondents anticipate the number of employees who require remote access will grow.
In times of increased economic espionage the awareness of security issues has risen, which translates into positive effects for IT investment planning. 46 percent of technology professionals surveyed expect IT security spending to increase 1 – 25 percent in 2014 and 31 percent expect it to increase by more than 25 percent. Interestingly, 20 percent of respondents believe that IT security spending will remain flat in 2014, while only 3 percent suggest that it will decrease.