Businesses and employees have benefitted greatly from the introduction of remote and hybrid working, but have also faced major challenges, new research has found.
A report from Fortinet found almost two-thirds of firms (62%) suffered a data breach during the last two to three years, which could be, at least in part, attributed to the remote working environment.
The idea of remote working introducing new risks into the workplace is thus no longer merely theoretical, but also proven in practice. Fortinet says there are vulnerabilities in the way work is being organized that threat actors actively exploit to steal sensitive data. Usually, that data is either sold on the black market, used to mount additional attacks, or used as a bargaining chip in a ransom negotiation.
Training the workforce
For businesses looking to keep, and advance, their remote working environment, the biggest challenge is training the workforce. Most of these workers aren’t that proficient in cybersecurity and as such present the weakest link in the security chain. To make matters worse, IT teams don’t have full visibility into their organization’s attack surface, due to countless endpoints connecting from various locations.
With asset ownership blurry, IT teams struggle to enforce zero trust network access and deploy security patches.
These risks are real, Fortinet concludes, and many organizations still haven’t addressed them fully. However, despite the hardships, remote working is here to stay, the report states. Furthermore, it says that CISOs and security leaders are spending increasing amounts of money on new cybersecurity solutions.
Among the different technologies they have at their disposal, most decision-makers go for network access control tools, antivirus programs, multi-factor authentication solutions, and cloud security solutions.
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