The global electronics company HP has released its latest HP Wolf Security study that analyzes the impact of hybrid work schedules on workplace cyber security.
Announcing its newest HP Wolf Security report: Out of Sight & Out of Mind study, HP took a look at the rise of hybrid work and how users are creating new challenges for IT professionals. The research finds an increasing number of hybrid employees are using “unsanctioned” devices outside of IT departments’ horizon.
“People often don’t know if they have clicked on something malicious, so the real number are likely much higher,” estimates Ian Pratt, global head of security for personal systems, HP.
“Threat actors don’t always announce themselves, as playing the ‘long game’ to move laterally and infiltrate higher value infrastructure has proven to be more lucrative. For example, by using cloud backups to exfiltrate sensitive data in bulk, encrypting data on servers, then demanding a multi-million dollar ransom.”
The results of this data comes from two surveys. HP points out the first survey from YouGov asked nearly 8,500 office workers that transitioned from WFH to hybrid work schedules about their activities, and a second study conducted by Toluna that polled 1,100 IT decision makers.
Some of the findings from the HP Wolf Security report: Out of Sight & Out of Mind research include 45% of office workers purchased IT (computers, printers) solutions to support working at home. The research notes that 68% said security wasn’t a major concern for employees’ decision making process to buy these products, and 43% said their new computers were not checked or installed by their employers’ IT departments. Moreover, 50% admitted their IT departments had not checked our installed their printers either.
IT professionals in the survey point out that phishing has become more popular with 74% reporting they have seen a rise in employees opening malicious links and attachments over the past year.
This increase in phishing is impacting IT support, according to HP. Just over three quarters of IT professionals stated it is taking more time to diagnose IT issues and 62% of alerts related to end points that were “false positives” that wasted IT resources.
Additional findings from HP Wolf Security report: Out of Sight & Out of Mind study include:
Just about two thirds (65%) of IT staff members said that “patching endpoint” devices takes more time and the issues are more complex due to hybrid work, and another 64% stated the similar issues when provisioning and on boarding new starters with secure devices. IT professionals estimate IT-related costs have risen by 52% over the past year due to hybrid work.More than 80% of IT teams have pointed out the pandemic has put more stress on IT support because of home-related security problems. In addition, 77% of IT teams state employees that work from home are making their jobs harder, and there is a fear that IT professionals will burnout and will consider quitting their jobs.
“As IT continues to grow in complexity, security support is becoming unmanageable,” emphasizes Pratt.
“For hybrid working to be a success, IT security teams need to be freed from spending hours provisioning and fielding user access requests so they can focus on tasks that add value. We need a new security architecture that not only protects against known and unknown threats, but that helps to reduce the burden to liberate cybersecurity teams and users alike. By applying the principles of Zero Trust, organizations can design resilient defenses to keep the business safe and recover quickly in the event of a compromise.”
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