Barracuda has released key findings from a report titled “Brave the new normal: How companies in Asia-Pacific are overcoming security challenges in a remote workplace”. The research revealed that 49% of Hong Kong organizations do not have an up-to-date security strategy or solutions covering all the vulnerabilities posed by remote working, while 56% admitted that security has taken a back seat in the shift to this mode of working.
The market report was commissioned by Barracuda and conducted by independent research firm Censuswide in July 2020. 1,055 business decision-makers in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and India were surveyed to gain insights into their current mindset about the future of work trends resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report revealed that 58% of Hong Kong organizations surveyed cut their cybersecurity budgets to save costs as they responded to the pandemic. In addition, 59% lacked IT resources or time to upgrade their IT infrastructure in the shift to a remote working model,the highest in the region. This highlights the need for organizations to find ways to prioritize spending on critical controls, whether that involves consolidating vendors, investing in SaaS-based tools or assessing how automation could help free budget and resources for security.
This is critical given employees are often more distracted when working remotely, coupled with a lack of protection on home devices and networks, making them more susceptible to cybersecurity attacks. 55% of organisations surveyed reported at least one data breach or cyber security incident since shifting to remote working, with 40% reporting that employees had experienced an increase in email phishing attacks. 47% are concerned about unknown threats that will cause business disruption in the next 6 months.
According to the report, half of respondents said their employees are not properly trained in the cyber risks associated with remote working. In addition, 56% are not confident in the security of their web applications, which is another major target for malicious third parties seeking to access corporate data.
The good news is that most Hong Kong decision-makers are aware of the problems relating to their remote working security posture and have a clear idea of how they can improve it. 78% believe that cross-industry collaboration is key to improving security standards. 82% said that they will need to upgrade their IT infrastructure to improve visibility and productivity. 74% plan to provide improved online cybersecurity training and awareness for remote working staff.
In a separate report, Singapore did not fare much better.