What is the impact of remote work on security best practices?

Employees are now accessing resources from any device and from anywhere outside of their corporate domain, a JumpCloud survey reveals. The report details the impact of COVID-19, IT’s chief concerns about new spending decisions, the impact remote work had on security best practices, and overall satisfaction within the IT organization.

remote work security practices

The survey represents more than 400 IT decision-makers from small and mid sized organizations across a variety of industries.

COVID-19 has highlighted that while IT admins are often behind the scenes, they are the team that ensures secure and simple workflows for every employee in SMEs,” said Rajat Bhargava, CEO of JumpCloud.

“Remote work put enormous pressure on admins and organizations, and now that the work landscape has changed permanently, the top priority for SMEs is to address those challenges. IT professionals’ 2021 priorities of layered security for more secure work-from-anywhere, making remote work easier, and more efficient device management underscore the need for a more consolidated, platform approach to IT that reduces complexities and cost.”

The impact on IT

  • Remote work, security and cloud are priorities: IT budgets will prioritize three things in the coming year: remote management (58.4%), security (55.9%), and cloud services (50.1%).
  • Remote work hurt security best practices: The study found that 74% said remote work makes it harder for employees to follow good security practices (50% agree; 24% strongly agree).
  • Managing remote workers is the biggest challenge: Managing remote workers is the biggest challenge IT admins faced over the past year (53%). 66.3% of IT managers feel overwhelmed by the challenge of managing remote work.
  • Acute focus on good employee experience: 93% said employee experience is important in IT purchasing decisions (41% strongly agree; 52% agree).

Remote work security practices and concerns

  • Wasting money on managing users’ identities: 62% say they pay for more tooling than they need to manage user identities and 56% of respondents said they are spending too much to enable remote work.
  • Security concerns are a mix of internal and external threats: The top three concerns are software vulnerability (39%), employees using the same username and password across apps (37%), using an unsecured network (36%) and device theft (29% ).
  • Zero trust gains traction: A zero trust security approach has already been adopted by 24%, with another 33% planning to adopt it. 33% of respondents were zero trust champions within the organization, along with other champions in IT (30%), security roles (18%), and executives (18%).

The critical role of MSPs

  • IT admins turn to MSPs in droves: 84% of respondents said they have already or plan to engage an MSP. 34% engaged an MSP to completely manage the IT stack; 30% engaged an MSP to support internal IT teams/individuals; and 21% said they are exploring what an MSP can do to better support IT.
  • Most common reasons to use MSPs are: For security (51%); employee hardware (46%); and cloud services (46%).

Women in IT

  • Millennial women are paid well in IT: For most age groups, the salary gender gap is close and within the 3% margin of error. The exception is women 35-44 years old who are getting paid more than men (6% more on average).
  • Women got more raises in IT over the past 12 months: 42% of women got a raise in the past 12 months, compared to 36% of men.

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