Corporate attack surface exploding as a result of remote work

74% of organizations attribute recent business-impacting cyberattacks to vulnerabilities in technology put in place during the pandemic. The data is drawn from a study of more than 1,300 security leaders, business executives and remote employees conducted by Forrester Consulting.

corporate attack surface

From cloud services and applications to personal devices and remote access tools, the corporate attack surface exploded in record time. Difficulty managing the plethora of technologies has made enterprises more vulnerable and propelled cyberattacks. Moreover, 80% of security and business leaders said their organizations are more exposed to risk as a result of remote work.

Corporate attack surface expansion largely driven by three factors

  • Enabling a workforce without boundaries: Over half of remote workers access customer data using a personal device, yet 71% of security leaders lack high or complete visibility into remote employee home networks. This gap is well understood by bad actors, as reflected in the fact that 67% percent of business-impacting cyberattacks targeted remote employees.
  • Expanding the software supply chain: 65% of security and business leaders attribute recent cyberattacks to a third-party software compromise; 61% report increased risk due to their expanded software supply chain.
  • Migrating to the cloud: 80% of security and business leaders believe moving business-critical functions to the cloud elevated their risk; 62% of organizations suffered business-impacting attacks involving cloud assets.

“Remote and hybrid work strategies are here to stay and so will the risks they introduce unless organizations get a handle on what their new attack surface looks like,” said Amit Yoran, CEO, Tenable.

“This study reveals two paths forward — one riddled with unmanaged risk and unrelenting cyberattacks and another that accelerates business productivity and operations in a secure way. CISOs and CEOs have the opportunity and responsibility to securely harness the power of technology and manage cyber risk for the new world of work.”

Bringing cybersecurity front and center as a critical investment

Hybrid work models and a digital-first economy have brought cybersecurity front and center as a critical investment that can make or break short- and long-term business strategies. To address this demand, two thirds or more of security leaders plan to increase their cybersecurity investments over the next 12 to 24 months, with roughly three-quarters planning to spend more on vulnerability management and cloud security.

What’s more, understanding the profound risks created by talent shortages, 64% of leaders lacking staff plan to invest within by increasing their teams’ headcount over the next 12 months.

Don't miss