Over three in four organisations in India experienced more than 25% more increase in cyber threats or alerts amid the shift to mass remote working owing to the pandemic, a new Cisco report revealed on Thursday.
As organisations in India witnessed a significant rise in the cybersecurity challenges, 65% of those surveyed said they adopted cybersecurity measures to support remote working, according to networking giant Cisco's â€˜Future of Secure Remote Work' report.
"As remote work continues to garner traction, organisations are turning their attention to building a robust cybersecurity foundation, with cloud security emerging as the top investment for 31% of companies in reinventing their workplaces post Covid-19," said Vishak Raman, Director, Security Business, Cisco India & SAARC.
With users connecting from outside the corporate walls, secure access is the top cybersecurity challenge faced by the largest proportion of Indian organisations (68%) when supporting remote workers.
Other concerns raised by organisations in the country include data privacy (66%) and protection against malware (62%).
"Cybersecurity is the top priority for 84% of Indian organizations," said the report based on a survey of over 3,000 IT decision-makers globally, including India.
"The pandemic has amplified the criticality of cybersecurity and brought new complexities to the fore," Raman said.
Endpoints are a growing challenge for organisations to protect, as users connect from their home Wi-Fi or use their personal devices to connect to corporate applications.
About two in three respondents stated that office laptops/desktops (66%) and personal devices (58%) posed a challenge to protect in a remote environment, followed by cloud applications at 42%.
"Over half (53%) of the organisations in India said they expect more than half of their workforce to continue working remotely post-pandemic," the report stated.
This compares to an average of just 28% of organisations with more than half of their workforce working remotely before the pandemic.
The report highlighted that 77% of organisations in the region plan to increase their future investment in cybersecurity due to COVID-19.
There are still challenges, though, that need to be addressed.
According to the report, 60% of Indian organisations said that having too many tools/solutions to manage was a challenge faced in reinforcing cybersecurity protocols for remote working, followed by a lack of employee education and awareness (55%).
"Greater focus must be laid on educating and building employee awareness as these endpoints will become the first line of defence for the organisation of the future," Raman said.