This is a really interesting article originally published by Cyber Resilience Centre for Greater Manchester. The Cisco Future of Secure Remote Work report reflects on how we can better understand the challenges that organisations face in the transition to remote work while uncovering the state of their cybersecurity readiness, as well as the shifts in their priorities, policies, and investments as they prepare for a hybrid work environment that is likely here to stay.
85% of organisations saw half of their workforce move to remote working during the pandemic
This sentiment is shared by the Cyber Resilience Centre as we support the Greater Manchester business community in dealing with the challenges of more staff being out of the protection of the office environment whilst working from home. Your users have the potential to be the strongest link in your organisation when it comes to identifying security threats. Which is why staff awareness training helps your employees become more cyber aware and become a confident line of first defence for your company.
Whilst the full report addresses how prepared organisations were in the UK, Europe and beyond, it also emphasises the theme that businesses need to react quickly to challenges just as they were in March when many were forced to take their entire workforce remote due to the pandemic.
Thanks to the stringent lockdown measures we saw at the height (March 2020) of the outbreak, we in the United Kingdom experienced the highest increase in remote workers in the world. 85% of organisations saw half of their workforce move to remote working during the pandemic (up from 18% pre-pandemic). Post pandemic here in the UK 50% of those surveyed is expecting more than half of their employees to continue working remotely post-COVID-19, the highest increase in the world.
Whilst the accelerated transition to a remote work environment was a difficult task for us all to undertake, 59% of the UK said they were ‘Very prepared’.
While only 24% of UK organisations experienced an increase in cyber threats or alerts, a further 27% of UK organisations ‘do not know’ if there have been an increase or decrease in cyber threats or alerts.
As more users continue to connect remotely, companies have seen a surge in cybersecurity-related challenges. Secure access is named as the top cybersecurity challenge faced by organisations, with data privacy and maintaining control and enforcement policies also front of mind for companies.