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Most UK organizations experienced increase in cyberattacks due to Covid-19

(Image credit: Image Credit: Gustavo Frazao / Shutterstock)

It has been clear for a while now that the rise of remote working has increased the security risk faced by organizations, but a new study from Tanium has revealed the full scope of the problem.

Based on a poll of 1,000 executives at medium-sized and large organizations, the report states that 92 percent of businesses have witnessed a spike in the volume of cyberattacks attacks over the past few months.

Most felt well-equipped to support the shift to remote working, but still faced a number of distinct challenges. The most significant included identifying new personal computing devices on a network, VPN capacity issues and increased security risk associated with online collaboration.

The most potent threats businesses faced, meanwhile, included data exposure, phishing and business/email transaction fraud.

To make matters worse, the Covid-19 crisis has forced businesses to delay or cancel planned security projects, including antivirus and malware sandboxing, networking zoning and security strategy work.

Patching also appears to be one area where most businesses were “caught off-guard”, the report states. Most have struggled in this respect, while some experienced specific difficulties with patching remote workers’ personal devices.

“The almost overnight transition to remote work forced changes for which many organizations were unprepared,” said Chris Hodson, Chief Information Security Officer at Tanium.

“It may have started with saturated VPN links and a struggle to remotely patch thousands of endpoints, but the rise in cyberattacks and critical vulnerabilities has made it apparent that we’re still far from an effective strategy for the new IT reality.”

“Whether companies choose to permanently move their operations, return employees to the office, or some combination of both, it’s clear that the edge is now distributed. IT leaders need to incorporate resilience into their distributed workforce infrastructure. A key part of this is making sure organizations have visibility of computing devices in their IT environment."