The ongoing global pandemic that has led to massive levels of remote work and an increased use of hybrid IT systems is leading to greater insecurity and risk exposure for enterprises.
According to new data released by Cybersecurity Insiders, 72% of organizations experienced an increase in endpoint and IoT security incidents in the last year, while 56% anticipate their organization will likely be compromised due to an endpoint or IoT-originated attack with the next 12 months.
The comprehensive survey of 325 IT and cybersecurity decision makers in the US, conducted in September 2020, represented a balanced cross-section of organizations from financial services, healthcare and technology to government and energy.
IoT and enpoint security challenge
Alongside headline data that the majority experienced an endpoint and IoT security incident over the last 12 months, the top 3 issues were related to malware (78%), insecure network and remote access (61%), and compromised credentials (58%).
Perhaps more concerning was that 43% of respondents expressed “moderate to unlikely means to discover, identify, and respond to unknown, unmanaged, or insecure devices accessing network and cloud resources.”
“It is clear from this new research that the challenge of securing IoT and endpoints has escalated considerably as employees have been forced to work remotely while organizations try to rapidly adapt to the situation,” said Scott Gordon, CMO at Pulse Secure.
“The threat is real and growing. Yet, on a positive note, the survey shows that organizations are investing in key initiatives and adopting zero trust elements such as remote access device posture checking and Network Access Control (NAC) to address some of these issues.“
The negative impact of an endpoint or IoT security issue
The research found that 41% will implement or advance on-premise device security enforcement, 35% will advance their remote access devices posture checking, and 22% will advance their IoT device identification and monitoring capabilities.
For those that have been victim of an endpoint or IoT security issue, the most significant negative impact was a reported loss of user (55%) and IT (45%) productivity, followed by system downtime (42%).
Holger Schulze, CEO at Cybersecurity Insiders added, “The diversity of users, devices, networks, and threats continue to grow as enterprises take advantage of greater workforce mobility, workplace flexibility, and cloud computing opportunities.
“Not only do organizations need to ensure endpoints are secure and adhering to usage policy, but they must also manage appropriate IoT device access. New zero trust security controls can fortify dynamic device discovery, verification, tracking, remediation, and access enforcement.”
Additional key findings
- Respondents rated the biggest endpoint and IoT security challenges as #1 insufficient protection against the latest threats (49%), #2 high complexity of deployment and operations (47%), and #3 inability to enforce endpoint and IoT device access/usage policy (40%).
- Respondents rated the most critical capabilities required to mitigate endpoint and IoT security as #1 monitoring endpoint or IoT devices for malicious or anomalous activity (54%), #2 blocking or isolating unknown or at-risk endpoint and IoT devices’ network access (51%), and #3 blocking at-risk devices’ access to network or cloud resources (46%).
- When asked about anticipated investments to secure remote worker access and endpoint security technology, most organizations (61%) anticipate an increase, or significant increase, while few expect a decrease (6%).