Nearly half of workers will stay remote after the pandemic ends, and two out of three IT professionals are concerned with endpoint misuse.
This is a key finding from Prey Software's new study titled 'Status of the Remote Work Cyber Security Landscape 2021'.
The report examines the remote work challenges generated by the pandemic year and the number of people working from home far from corporate environments and on insecure networks, in many cases sharing with other unsafe devices in their homes.
The Prey report finds that, on average, 43.13% of workers will stay remote after the pandemic ends.
They join the 63% of workers who already had some sort of remote policy implemented before the pandemic to create a vastly expanded remote workforce.
In this new remote environment, IT professionals surveyed worry about the lack of IT infrastructure to allocate resources to suddenly remote workers, followed by employees using third-party software, increasingly overwhelmed IT staff, and not having enough devices for everyone.
Lack of budget is a big concern according to the study, as well as dated infrastructure and IT personnel without the necessary experience.
Of the IT professionals surveyed for report, 62% stated that threats increased after the pandemic started, and more than 50% strongly agreed that the COVID-19 pandemic and remote work has made cybersecurity a greater challenge, while 41% somewhat agreed.
Accordingly, the report finds that 67% of IT professionals surveyed say endpoint misuse grew in some way or another in their organisations; while 44% are worried that, with more liberal BYOD policies, personal devices are being used in the workplace without risk assessment.
The report identifies endpoint security as an important component of the new cybersecurity landscape, offering a way to secure remote office devices while also maintaining a minimum level of security for the data in transit.
Data encryption solutions are highly appreciated too, to deliver protection to the static data on every endpoint.
Identity and access management are a necessity for more than half of the surveyed organisations, while software management sits right in the middle. Backup and web filtering were only relevant to a third of surveyed professionals.
In addition, remote work must happen in tandem with cybersecurity education for workers and frequent endpoint checkups, the study finds.
Prey Software cybersecurity researcher, Norman Gutirrez, says, “As the pandemic hit in early 2020, organisations had to cope with the new reality of a remote workforce.
"Our survey found a whopping 75% were unprepared for this rapid shift and that endpoint security had become one of their top priorities.