Sentiments differ, but one recent survey indicates the corporate procedures and controls have become more complex since the pandemic started.

To examine the state security in remote-work environments, a survey of 1,250 security decision makers (managers, senior managers, directors and vice presidents) in mid- to large-sized firms in the US (413), the UK (203), France (218), Germany (209) and the Netherlands (207) was conducted.

With end users working from anywhere—in some cases using personal devices to access cloud apps and corporate resources in the Cloud—the attack surface is larger than it has ever been.

The survey is showing that many IT organization polled were struggling to defend it. Some of the findings are:

  1. 74% of security decision makers in the survey indicated that procedures and controls have become more complex as their organizations transitioned to remote and hybrid work.
  2. 73% of respondents were fighting to keep up with the increased volume of security threats that the models create.
  3. 86% of respondents indicated that it was “extremely” or “very” important to create a seamless employee experience.
  4. 79% of decision makers polled indicated that the pandemic has created an opportunity to completely rethink their long-term information security strategy, citing “poor connectivity”’ (43%); “navigating technical problems virtually” (34%); and “inability to get IT support quickly/easily (32%) as challenges to be addressed.
  5. 46% of security decision makers polled felt “somewhat prepared” for remote work when the pandemic hit; 84% now felt “very” or “somewhat” prepared to secure a hybrid, remote or at-home workforce.
  6. 58% of respondents indicated that investments in security had increased over the last 12 months by an average of 40%.
  7. 71% of respondents indicated that their company’s IT environment is now more secure than it was before the pandemic struck.
  8. 52% of security decision makers in the survey believed most of their workforce will be permanently remote or hybrid.

According to Kurt Roemer, Chief Security Strategist, Citrix Systems, Inc., the firm that commissioned the survey: “Rather than traditional command-and-control-style strategies, organizations need to take a more intelligent, people-focused approach to security that protects employees without negatively affecting their experience. With the right technology, they can provide consistent, secure and reliable access to the resources employees need to get work done, wherever it needs to get done, and empower them to be and do their best.”