Shadow IT Represents Major #COVID19 Home Working Threat

Rising threat levels and remote working challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic are putting increased pressure on IT security professionals, according to new data from Check Point.

The vendor polled over 400 respondents from global organizations with over 500 employees to better understand the current challenges facing security teams.

It revealed that 71% of security professionals had reported an increase in security threats or attacks since the start of the virus outbreak. Phishing (55%), malicious websites (32%), malware (28%) and ransomware (19%) were cited as the top threats.

These have been exacerbated by home working challenges, with 95% of respondents claiming to be under new pressures.

Top among these was providing secure remote access for employees (56%) and scalable remote access solutions (55%). However, nearly half (47%) of respondents complained that home workers using shadow IT solutions represented a major problem.

These challenges are only going to grow, according to the research.

Some 61% of security pros said they are concerned about the cyber-risks involved in making rapid changes to enable remote working, and over half (55%) felt remote access security needed to be improved. A further 49% said they’re concerned about the need to scale-up endpoint security for home workers.

“Cyber-criminals will always seek to capitalize on the latest trends to try and boost the success rates of attacks, and the coronavirus pandemic has created a perfect storm of a global news event together with dramatic changes in working practices and the technologies used by organizations,” argued Rafi Kretchmer, head of product marketing at Check Point.

“This has meant a significant increase in the attack surface of many organizations, which is compromising their security postures.”

According to recent figures, the volume of detected online threats jumped 37% month-on-month in March, while one vendor observed a 600% increase in phishing attacks from the end of February to the end of March.

The SANS Institute last month released a Security Awareness Work-from-Home Deployment Kit to help organizations support secure home working.

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