New research has warned that hybrid working is making it difficult for UK cybersecurity leaders to safeguard their organisations.
According to the report, The State of Security in a Hybrid World – created by Citrix – 72% of UK security decision-makers say procedures and controls have become more complex as their organisations transition to remote and hybrid work, with 71% fighting to keep up with the increased volume of security threats that the models create.
Hybrid working has driven a major increase in organisations’ attack surfaces. With end users working from anywhere – in some cases using personal devices to access cloud apps and corporate resources, defending all these end points has many IT organisations struggling.
The research is based on a survey of 1,250 security decision makers across medium to large organisations in the US, the UK, France, Germany, and the Netherlands – including over 200 security leaders in the UK.
In addition to security decision-makers, Citrix also polled 3,603 knowledge workers, including over 1,000 in the UK.
The report found that employees want flexibility in how they work, with 70% of UK workers saying it is “extremely” or “very important” to be able to work remotely or from home, on any device.
Savvy organisations recognise this, with 86% of UK security leaders stating they feel it is extremely or very important to create a seamless employee experience, with 89% measuring information security’s impact on employee experience and productivity.
“IT organisations are realising that as they embrace hybrid work, their security posture needs to evolve,” said Citrix Chief Security Strategist Kurt Roemer.
“Rather than traditional command and control-style strategies, they need to take a more intelligent, people-focused approach to security that protects employees without negatively affecting their experience.”
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Indeed, 78% of UK decision makers polled say the pandemic has created an opportunity to completely rethink their long-term information security strategy with these objectives in mind.
Yet challenges remain for those seeking to work in a more flexible way, with poor connectivity (44%), an inability to get IT support quickly/easily (41%) and navigating technical problems virtually (30%) cited as the main concerns by UK workers.
Prior to the pandemic, 30% of UK security decision makers did not feel prepared for remote work, yet 80% now feel “very” or “somewhat” prepared to secure a hybrid, remote or at-home workforce.
This is likely as a result of increased investment, with 56% of leaders claiming investments in security have increased over the last 12 months, by an average of 30%. 71% say their company’s IT environment is now more secure than it was before the pandemic struck.
“Hybrid work is the future of work, and IT will play a critical role in delivering it,” Roemer said. “With the right technology, they can provide consistent, secure and reliable access to the resources employees need to get work done, wherever it needs to get done, and empower them to be and do their best.”
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