Employee cybersecurity awareness training will be a key differentiator for WFH safety next year, concludes a small regional study.

When it comes to implementing remote-working the Asia Pacific region (APAC), one regional survey has singled out a country with the highest level of vulnerability concerns.

This same country is also in the lead in APAC for the highest penetration of work-from-home implementation, presumably due to its small geographical size: Singapore.

The survey, commissioned by AT&T and conducted across Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore, involved 500 IT decision makers. While 91% of the APAC respondents indicated they were prepared for work-from-home arrangements, the responders identified several areas of concern.

  • WiFi networks represented the biggest (39%) concerns, followed by cloud storage (38%), email (36%); new technologies such as 5G and IoT (34%), remote devices (32%) and video conferencing solutions (31%).
  • In Singapore, 44% of respondents stated that remote-workers were accessing corporate networks and data from personal laptops and devices, higher than the regional average of 35%. This highlights a new range of security threats employees are exposed to.
  • 12% of senior managers in Singapore felt that their companies were not well prepared to manage migration of their workforce from office to home

According to the responses, 49% believed the pandemic will lead to continued remote-working. Half believed there will be increasing frequency and sophistication of attacks as a result of the pandemic, while 39% believed it will remain the same.

At the time of the survey, 79% of IT managers were relying on external security providers, with this level rising to 85% in Singapore, whereas 30% were relying extensively on one or more managed security providers. About a fifth did not use external cybersecurity providers: however, of those, 11% were looking to increase external providers in the coming year.

According to an AT&T spokesperson, the research shows that employees continue to be a central part of the vulnerabilities in the security chain. The need for businesses to support remote-working is likely to become mainstream, so it is critical for companies to train and educate staff about the risks and the importance of following good cybersecurity practices.