Bitglass has announced the release of its 2021 Remote Workforce Security Report after surveying IT and security professionals to understand how remote work has transformed the state of security operations over the past year.
Most organisations (57 percent) still have over three-quarters of their teams working remotely, while 90 percent said they are likely to continue these increased levels of remote work in the future due to productivity benefits.
Additionally, 53 percent of companies said they are looking to make some positions permanently remote after the COVID crisis ends–a much higher rate than when the pandemic began (33 percent).
Even after a full year of remote work, many organisations are still feeling worried and unprepared for securing off-premises users. The biggest remote work security concerns stem from data leaking through endpoints (68 percent), users connecting with unmanaged devices (59 percent), and access from outside the perimeter (56 percent).
These concerns are followed by maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements (45 percent), remote access to core business apps (42 percent), and loss of visibility over user activity (42 percent).
Security professionals recognise that the remote state of operations requires an increasingly cloud-centric IT ecosystem, with 71 percent agreeing that their organisation will shift away from on-premises appliances and tools in favor of the cloud for enabling remote work.
Yet while organisations are using a variety of controls to secure remote work, most are still facing the challenges that come with using legacy tools that are not well suited for the modern enterprise.
Bandwidth restrictions, which have massive ramifications for security solution scalability, were cited as the leading barrier to securing remote work at 41 percent. In part because of this issue, the majority of organisations (55 percent) also reported that relying upon VPN had proven challenging over the last year.
“Enabling the modern workforce requires more flexible IT ecosystems and calls for increased reliance on the cloud, as well as cloud security tools,” said Anurag Kahol, CTO of Bitglass.
“As we look ahead to what work will be like after COVID-19, there will be a need for a mixed IT and security environment as people will work both on and off premises. Embracing the cloud is critical for enabling this and should happen sooner rather than later.”