How Do Businesses Rate Their Security and Compliance 10 Months Into COVID-19?

  • Researchers seek to understand how businesses rate their security posture in these changing times
  • Survey enlists 600 IT pros in companies from $100 million to more than $1 billion in annual revenue
  • Respondents admit they need to harden unconventional attack vectors in cloud, mobile and social media technologies
  • Half of those surveyed believe internal collaboration platforms represent the biggest risk to security

How does your business rate its security and compliance risks in the new digital reality of the pandemic-era workplace? SafeGuard Cyber researchers asked 600 senior enterprise IT and security professionals, and the answer was unanimous: ‘not great.’

Business processes have changed entirely (and are still evolving)

The firm enlisted 600 IT pros at companies with from $100 million to more than $1 billion in annual revenue. Respondents were asked to grade their adaptations to date, articulate what gaps still exist, and explain the steps they’re taking for the future. One in three said their entire business process has changed and is still evolving. 26% said they’d rushed specific projects that were scheduled for later.

These findings were more than expected. Since May, business leaders have been admitting how utterly unprepared they were for COVID-19. But the research delves deeper into the security pains voiced by IT professionals in organizations big and small. One thing they all acknowledge is the need to harden unconventional attack vectors in cloud, mobile and social media technologies.

Organizations admit they must harden up

A quick dive into the study’s key findings shows just how vulnerable organizations feel about the new digital investments and strategies they’ve deployed to address these changing times. For example, researchers noticed a significant disconnect between perceived security and compliance needs and the level of organizational planning.

“Despite perceived digital risk around unsanctioned apps, ransomware attacks, and varying tech stacks, only 18% of respondents reported cybersecurity as being a board-level concern,” they said.

More than half of those surveyed said internal collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack present the most risk. Marketing technologies are not far behind in terms of perceived risk, with 41% of respondents pointing their finger at those platforms.

According to one in four respondents, even executives’ personal social media accounts are perceived as an area of risk. Yet, the most significant security and compliance challenge is the use of unsanctioned apps, as voted by 52% of those surveyed. For others, the biggest hurdle is to monitor business communications in multi-regional environments (43%). The researchers believe this indicates friction in scaling technologies for the digital workspace.

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