Cisco finds an increase in security concerns due to remote working

Most companies see cyber security as extremely important amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Abstract cyber security image of a man holding a symbol of a padlock inside a shield

Cisco has released two global research studies which show that the shift to mass remote working has caused people to becoming increasingly concerned around data sharing and security. 

The reports recommend options for committing to security tools and technologies that would enable users to access data and applications from any device. 

Cisco surveyed global IT decision-makers to produce the Future of Secure Remote Work Report, which determined most companies were only somewhat prepared to support remote working. This has accelerated technologies that would allow employees to work remotely and securely, which would provide businesses with greater flexibility. 

According to the survey:

  • Most companies (85%) rate cyber security as “extremely important” or “more important” than before the pandemic 
  • The top cybersecurity challenge when supporting remote workers is secure access (62%) 
  • Corporate laptops (56%) and personal devices (54%) are difficult to protect when employees are working remotely
  • Two-thirds (66%) stated the pandemic will encourage companies to increase investment in cybersecurity 

"Security and privacy are among the most significant social and economic issues of our lifetime," said Jeetu Patel, SVP and GM, Cisco's security & applications business. 

"Cyber security historically has been overly complex. With this new way of working here to stay and organizations looking to increase their investment in cybersecurity, there's a unique opportunity to transform the way we approach security as an industry to better meet the needs of our customers and end-users." 

Remote workers’ privacy is also a serious concern, and people aren’t confident in what companies are doing to keep their data safe. Cisco’s second annual Consumer Privacy Survey survey found people want no significant changes to privacy requirements, and companies should be more transparent about how they use customers' data. 

The survey found that:

  • 60% of people surveyed worry about the privacy of remote collaboration tools 
  • 53% want to keep current privacy laws, including pandemic-related data 
  • 48% believe they can’t properly protect their data because they don’t know how companies are using their data 
  • 56% state governments should take the lead in protecting consumer data, and they support their countries’ privacy laws

"Privacy is much more than just a compliance obligation. It is a fundamental human right and business imperative that is critical to building and maintaining customer trust," said Harvey Jang, VP, chief privacy officer, Cisco.

"The core privacy and ethical principles of transparency, fairness, and accountability will guide us in this new, digital-first world."

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