With users connecting from outside the corporate walls, secure access is the top cybersecurity challenge faced by the largest proportion of Indian organisations (68%), the Cisco report found.

3 in 4 Indian firms saw 25 increase in cyber threats amid WFH Cisco
Atom Cybersecurity Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 13:50

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 ‘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. 

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