Shift to remote work and heavy reliance on service providers for security leaves blind spots

83% of C-level executives expect the changes they made in the areas of people, processes, and applications as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic to become permanent (whether significant or partial), according to Radware​.

remote work security blind spots

According to the report, ​pandemic-driven changes affected various aspects of business, 44% of executives surveyed reported a negative negative impact on budgets, 43% reported a workforce reduction, while 37% reported reduced real estate footprints.

Pandemic accelerated cloud adoption

The pandemic accelerated the migration of business infrastructure and applications into the cloud. 76% of companies adopted cloud services faster than they had planned, and 56% of respondents said that the contactless economy – e-commerce, on-demand content, video conferencing, etc.- had a positive impact on their business.​ ​

The quick migration helped to maintain business operations but potentially exacerbated cybersecurity gaps, due to an increased attack surface. 40% of survey respondents reported an increase in cyberattacks amid the pandemic. 32% said that they relied on their cloud provider’s security services to provide security management for their public cloud assets.

“The transition to remote work and new online contactless business models is not temporary and is affecting the future strategy on how organizations invest in cybersecurity,” said Anna Convery-Pelletier, CMO at Radware.

“Normally, businesses would make this shift over an extended period of time. However, the pandemic forced a massive shift to remote work which is now creating new security challenges.”

“Before the pandemic, digital transformation was a long-term strategic goal for most businesses,” said Michael O’Malley, VP of Market Strategy for Radware.

“On-demand content consumption, contactless payments, curbside pickups, and remote workforces are now business imperatives. Executives must revisit what they’ve implemented to ensure that a lack of cybersecurity planning does not undermine their goals.”

remote work security blind spots

Other key findings

  • Shift to remote operations​: More than 80% of respondents said they believed more than 25% of their employees would work remotely in the future, a sharp contrast to pre-pandemic work-from-home policies, when only 48% of companies enabled more than 25% of their employees do so, and 6% did not enable remote work at all.
  • Emergence of new revenue models to support contactless economy​: Roughly two in five respondents from the retail sector said they made real estate changes – including store closures. Many retailers faced pressure to adopt practices that ease the customer experience, such as curbside pickup, e-commerce, and increased use of contactless payments. More than any other sector, retailers reported the need to adopt cloud or hybrid cloud environments to make their networks more resilient, 57% said they plan to host their assets in either a public or private cloud environment by 2022.

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