Remote working has increased risk of a cyber breach, say over 70% of UK businesses

Research from Centrify has revealed that over three quarters of UK companies believe the risk of a cyber increase is much higher due to remote working during the Covid-19 crisis

by News Reporter on 6 April 2020 09:56

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Nearly three-quarters of business decision makers (71 per cent) believe that the shift to 100% remote working during the Covid-19 crisis has increased the likelihood of a cyber breach, according to new data released by cyber security company Centrify, a leading provider of Identity-Centric privileged access management solutions.

The data, obtained via a poll of 200 senior business decision-makers in large- and medium-sized UK companies conducted by independent polling company Censuswide on behalf of Centrify, also revealed that 46 per cent have already noted an increase in phishing attacks since implementing a policy of widespread remote working.

The polling took place on 26th – 27th March, as the UK government announced much stricter lockdown policies to tackle the Coronavirus, including urging all employees to work from home where possible.

The research also found that 79 per cent of business decision makers have increased their cyber security procedures to manage high volumes of remote access over the next three months. Similarly, 73 per cent of businesses have given staff extra training on how to remain cyber-safe when working remotely, with specific training around verifying passwords and log-in credentials.

The survey also noted additional fears that IT systems are at risk, with over half (53 per cent) saying they believe that privileged IT admin remote access is at risk of security breach.

Andy Heather, VP, Centrify told The Commentator, “Cyber criminals will no doubt attempt to seize the opportunity presented by the all-out expansion of remote workers, many of whom have not been proficiently trained in even the most basic of cyber security measures.

Heather continued, "Therefore, it is essential that businesses and employees remain vigilant during these challenging times. “Organisations of all sizes must prioritise security protocols when transitioning employees from an office to a remote working environment. This includes introducing professional training for all employees on how to operate IT and online infrastructure safely, and how to spot unusual or potentially malicious activity. Furthermore, businesses should take an Identity-centric approach to secure remote privileged access, to ensure that any hackers and cyber criminals cannot gain access to sensitive systems or data.”

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