APAC organisations unprepared for shift to remote working, says Cisco study

APAC organisations unprepared for shift to remote working, says Cisco study
Image courtesy of Cisco

Asia Pacific is the region with the largest proportion of organisations to experience an increase in cyber threats globally.

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Organisations in Asia Pacific are seeing a big increase in the cybersecurity challenges they face amid the shift to mass remote working, a new study by Cisco shows.

The study found that 69% of organisations in the region have experienced a 25% or more jump in either cyber threats or alerts since the start of COVID-19, making it the region with the largest proportion of organisations to experience this increase globally.

Six percent of organisations did not know if their cyber threats or alerts have increased or decreased, highlighting the scale of challenges that organisations are facing due to the abrupt and massive shift to remote working.

Cisco’s recently released Future of Secure Remote Work Report revealed many Asia Pacific organisations were unprepared to make the accelerated transition to a remote workforce at the outset of COVID-19, with 54% of organisations only ‘somewhat’ prepared and 7% not prepared to support the transition.

The study is based on a survey of over 3,000 IT decision makers globally, including over 1,900 respondents across 13 Asia Pacific markets. It highlights the cybersecurity challenges companies faced as they shifted the majority of their employees to a remote working arrangement in a really short period of time.

With users connecting from outside the corporate walls, secure access – defined as the ability to verify identity and establish trust no matter how, where, or when users log in, is the top cybersecurity challenge faced by the largest proportion of Asia Pacific organisations (63%) when supporting remote workers. 

Other concerns include data privacy (59%) and maintaining control & enforcing policies (53%).  

“The challenges have shifted the goalposts around cybersecurity. As organisations transition to become cloud-first and remote-first, and employees expect to work from anywhere on any device, security needs to be the foundation behind the success of any digitalisation effort.

“This means having visibility of the users, devices, and the corporate applications and data they are accessing, and a flexible yet holistic cybersecurity posture to protect users and businesses from the network, to the endpoint, to the cloud,” said Kerry Singleton, Managing Director, Cybersecurity, Asia Pacific, Japan and China, Cisco. 

Endpoints are a growing challenge for organisations to protect, as users connect from their home Wi-Fi or use their personal devices to connect to corporate applications.  Over one in two respondents stated that office laptops/desktops (58%) and personal devices (57%) posed a challenge to protect in a remote environment, followed by cloud applications at 52%.

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