Hybrid office security disconnect

New research from Auxilion indicates 71pc of Irish IT leaders would refuse or leave their job if remote or hybrid working wasn’t offered.

The survey – conducted by Mediateam and involving 100 IT decision makers in Ireland – found that some 42pc think the most likely workstyle for their organisation going forward as restrictions continue to ease will be mainly remote working with half days in the office.

However, just 39pc feel their organisation is well equipped for long-term hybrid working and some 52pc rate their company as being only somewhat equipped for same.

“Hybrid is happening, but businesses are not fully prepared and are potentially leaving their company and people open to attack”

The research also revealed that 45pc of IT leaders are not confident in their organisation’s ability to manage and secure remote staff’s home environments, as 52pc said their company doesn’t have a centralised system which provides full visibility of all devices being used by employees to access the company network.

Security disconnect

Almost half (49pc) of respondents also disclosed that they don’t think their organisation has adequate security and data loss prevention measures in place.

“There is a clear disconnect between what the future workplace looks like and the security strategies that Irish organisations currently have in place,” said Philip Maguire, CEO of Auxilion.

“Hybrid is happening, but businesses are not fully prepared and are potentially leaving their company and people open to attack.

“As well as adequate protection to safeguard systems and staff working across multiple locations, organisations need to invest to ensure that the user experience remains streamlined and optimised – regardless of where teams are. Only then can they effectively secure company networks, enable people to be productive and support business growth in the hybrid working world.”

In terms of the biggest security concerns for the hybrid model, these were revealed as companies having the same security posture remotely (61pc), ransomware/malware (60pc), untrusted/shared networks (38pc), data loss prevention (35pc) and weak passwords (26pc).

Unsurprisingly, respondents said that one of the biggest challenges for businesses when employees return to a hybrid workplace is having adequate IT security measures for devices across locations (67pc).

The top challenge cited by IT leaders was ensuring that staff have the same user experience (68pc).

It seems investment is going to be made in this area with those surveyed expecting, on average, 30pc of their overall IT budget to go towards security over the next 12 months. Moreover, 40pc of IT leaders are expecting the total IT budget to increase by at least 30pc.

“It is absolutely crucial that every employee feels engaged and has the same workplace experience, whether they are in the office or not,” said Ray O’Connor, country manager for HPE Aruba.

“Equally so, each company must ensure that these connections and its network are properly managed and secured. Failing to do so could be costly from both a people and business perspective.”

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.