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IT leaders are fretting about the return to work

remote working
(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/bikeriderlondon)

As lockdown restrictions are lifted and people slowly return to their offices, IT experts are worried about the threats employees might bring back with them.

Polling 300 IT professionals late last year, BlackBerry found that almost all (nine in ten) are worried about workers returning to offices with unpatched systems and outdated software. A third, meanwhile, are “very concerned”.

Furthermore, four in five consider better visibility into the security of employee mobile devices as “highly important”. Respondents also said it’s vital for their security policy to be able to dynamically adapt, as well as to be able to detect threats while users are offline.

The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns forced most organizations to disperse their workforce and go into a remote mode. While it improved the productivity and work-life balance of many employees, cybersecurity risks emerged as one of the main drawbacks. 

Remote workers, removed from the security of the network perimeter, were relatively easy prey for criminals. The problem has multiple dimensions; corporate networks weren’t prepared for an onslaught of remote workers, and infrastructure was crumbling under the pressure. 

In other cases, organizations couldn’t find enough skilled cybersecurity workers to keep their remote workers secure and engaged. 

“Challenges inherent in the shifting threat landscape accelerate the need for a secure Unified Endpoint Security (UES) solution to protect organizations, along with a better way to address risks tied to the shift to a remote or hybrid work environment,” said BlackBerry.

"A substantial percentage of security professionals view a UES as critical to their ability to detect and respond to threats on traditional endpoints and, increasingly, on employee mobile devices.”