Shadow IT Represents COVID-19 Home Working Threat

Due to the rising threat levels and challenges of remote working as a result of COVID-19, IT security professionals are feeling the pressure, according to new data from Check Point.

The vendor polled over 400 respondents from global organisations with more than 500 employees to better understand the challenges that security teams are currently facing. Findings revealed that 71 per cent of security professionals had reported an increase in security threats or attacks since the beginning of the virus outbreak. The top threats were phishing (55 per cent) malicious websites (32 per cent), malware (28 per cent) and ransomware (19 per cent).

These threats have been exacerbated by home working challenges, with 95 per cent of respondents claiming that they are currently facing new pressures. These pressures include providing secure remote access for employees (56 per cent) and scalable remote access solutions (55 per cent). However, 47 per cent of respondents complained that home workers using shadow IT solutions represented a major problem.

Research indicates that these challenges are expected to grow.

Some 61 per cent of security experts expressed their concerns about the cyber-risks involved in making rapid changes to enable remote working. 55 per cent felt that remote access security needs improvement. An additional 49 per cent are concerned about the need to scale-up endpoint security for home workers.

 “Cyber-criminals will always seek to capitalize on the latest trends to try and boost the success rates of attacks, and the coronavirus pandemic has created a perfect storm of a global news event together with dramatic changes in working practices and the technologies used by organizations,” argued Rafi Kretchmer, head of product marketing at Check Point.

“This has meant a significant increase in the attack surface of many organizations, which is compromising their security postures.”

Recent figured indicate that the volume of detected online threats jumped 37 per cent month-on-month in March. At the same time, one vendor observed a 600 per cent increase in phishing attacks from the end of February to the end of March.