Remote workers exposing organisations to cyber threats

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 29 September, 2021

Remote workers exposing organisations to cyber threats

Nearly three in four (73%) Australian organisations were targeted by cyber attacks aimed at remote workers over the past 12 months, research from Tenable suggests.

A survey of more than 1300 security leaders, including 161 from Australia, found that just 29% of Australian remote workers strictly follow their organisations’ security guidelines and measures.

With 77% of Australian businesses planning to have employees working remotely at least once per week in the next 12–24 months, and 59% planning to make remote work permanent in the next 1–2 years, this lax adherence presents a significant security risk for employees.

The study also found that roughly nine in 10 remote workers in Australia connect six or more devices to their home networks, and many remote workers admit to accessing financial records (43%) and customer data (51%) from a personal device.

Meanwhile, two in five Australian security leaders surveyed stated that they lack visibility into remote employee home networks and their connected devices, and just 29% felt that they have enough staff to adequately monitor the attack surface this presents.

“The traditional, office-bound work model is gone. Organisations in Australia need to quickly embrace a hybrid work model that allows working from home to be ... seamless and secure. That also means security leaders need to adjust their approach to security to meet these challenges head on,” Tenable ANZ Country Manager Scott McKinnel said.

“The next 12–24 months will truly test the grit of organisations as they navigate and secure the new world of work. It’s crucial that Australian businesses are putting the systems and processes in place to give security leaders effective visibility into the entire threat surface of the organisation.”

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