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86% of U.S. and European Companies Suffer Network Security Disruptions Amid Work-from-Home Switch

By Alina Bizga on May 06, 2020 | 0 Comments

A new study from Neustar International Security Council (NISC) shows that 86% of companies have experienced network disruptions due to the sudden shift to remote work.

The firm polled 303 security professionals across EMEA and the US, revealing the bleak state of the cybersecurity landscape within organizations between February and March 2020.

Their findings show that 22% of companies have suffered minimal network disruptions, 41% reported moderate disruptions, and 23% experienced major disruption to network security practices.

Michael Kaczmarek, VP of Product Marketing-Neustar, highlighted the shortcomings of working within a remote environment.

 “A moderate disruption, which 41% of respondents said they experienced, could lead to productivity loss for a few reasons,” he said. “These include impacts to scheduled maintenances to push updates or features, lack of licenses or systems needed to access corporate resources, or delays in the installation of collaboration software.”

While 71% of organizations had a business plan that would cover a major crisis or event and ensure protection of their network, 29% of responding businesses said otherwise.

VPN connectivity issues have also burdened security officials.

“More than 90% of an organization’s employees typically connect to the network locally with a slim minority relying on remote connectivity via a VPN, but that dynamic has flipped,” said Rodney Joffe, Chairman of NISC, SVP and Fellow at Neustar. “The dramatic increase in VPN use has led to frequent connectivity issues.”

The study also found that only 22% of corporate VPNs navigated the work-from-home switch without issues. Around 60% encountered "minor connectivity issues," and 3% experienced major VPN issues during the transition.

Some 23% of senior IT and security professionals within the surveyed organizations ranked DDos attacks as their biggest concern, closely followed by system compromise with 22% and ransomware attacks at 18%.

The same group predicted surges in various forms of cyberattacks. More than 55% of respondents said that they expect increased phishing attacks, DDos attacks and ransomware. With most companies focused on securing the tools required to conduct business smoothly and assuring employee productivity, a need for securing home networks has become one of the top priorities for business leaders.

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Author: Alina Bizga

Alina has been a part of the Bitdefender family for some years now, as her past role involved interfacing with end users and partners, advocating Bitdefender technologies and solutions. She is a history buff and passionate about cybersecurity and anything sci-fi. Her spare time is usually split between her two feline friends and traveling.