Remote working is here to stay. While it wasn’t clear whether the adoption of remote working and hybrid working would remain after the COVID-19 pandemic, new research reveals that decentralized working is likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future.
Fortinet’s new Work-from-Anywhere Global Study released today surveyed 570 companies and found that 60% are still accommodating employees working from home, while 55% are embracing a hybrid work strategy.
However, the growth in adoption of work-from-anywhere has introduced new security risks that organizations are struggling to keep up with. For instance, Fortinet’s research shows that 62% of companies had a data breach they could at least partially attribute to work-from-anywhere employee vulnerabilities over the past 2 to 3 years.
The high rate of breaches highlights that remote working hasn’t just introduced theoretical risks, but exposures that are being actively exploited by threat actors to gain access to sensitive information.
The risks of remote working
Organizations cited a lack of cybersecurity training for hybrid workers as a top concern in work-from-anywhere environments, as well as how to best extend corporate security to home offices and remote locations.
The challenge of securing decentralized working environments is amplified by the fact that organizations have limited visibility over user’s home environments, branch offices and off-site locations. This makes asset ownership unclear, and it can be difficult to enforce zero trust access controls and deploy patches to devices.
Although the report found that most organizations haven’t mitigated risks associated with remote working, it did show that CISOs and security leaders are investing in new technologies to increase their cyber resilience.
More specifically, respondents cited network access control, antivirus solutions, multi factor authentication (MFA) and cloud security solutions such as cloud access security broker (CASB) as the most important tools for securing work-from-anywhere environments in the future.