According to a recent study of large enterprises in Australia, Singapore and New Zealand, remote-working risks have escalated corporate cybersecurity concerns.

How did the COVID-19 pandemic impactcybersecurity and compliance attitudes and behavior in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand over the past year?

A survey was conducted to gauge the sentiments of 100 enterprises within Singapore and 70 enterprises in Australia and New Zealand (74% being CEOs, CFOs, or COOs at large enterprises, with 70% having over 500 employees) in the banking and finance sectors, retail, manufacturing and healthcare verticals.

Commissioned by Ivanti Security Solutions Group (SSG), the results indicate that, within the countries surveyed, most respondents experienced a moderate one to nine percent reduction in business demand. Australia had the highest percentage of respondents reporting this (80%), compared to those in New Zealand (73%) and Singapore (59%).

Overall, 38% of respondents said that their main strategy was to focus on IT operations to maintain business operations for their remote workforce during the pandemic. More than 40% of the respondents in Australia and New Zealand stated that they focused more on cybersecurity to better protect their organization from attacks.

Other findings

Enterprises in the parochial survey indicated a few other sentiments: 

  • When it came to cloud adoption during the pandemic, respondents indicated their organization adopted cloud more during the pandemic, especially those in Australia (64%) and New Zealand (57%).
  • 71% of respondents across all three countries indicated that ‘consolidation and integration of solutions’ was ‘very important’. 
  • 75% of all enterprises surveyed during the pandemic stated that zero trust frameworks were ‘very important’, compared to the 64% that had agreed to this prompt before the pandemic.

The report summarized the findings with recommendations for “complete visibility and centralized control” via “deploying solutions that provide a single view of threats, technology management, vulnerabilities and perceived risks across an organization’s entire environment. Another recommendation was the need to “support multi-cloud and diverse environments”:in order to address the mounting challenge of protecting globally-dispersed data and compute environments.

Said the firm’s VP (Asia Pacific & Japan), Michael Waring: “In changing the way we work, (the pandemic) has also created new security challenges for organizations. As employees, we are increasingly mobile and remote, and we use an ever-changing combination of networks and devices—some of which could be vulnerable or even compromised. Businesses today need to adopt a zero trust approach, which enables highly secure yet more fluid access to applications and information in the data center or in the Cloud.”