The Cybersecurity Pandora’s Box of Remote Work

November 19, 2020

The transition to remote work opened a cybersecurity Pandora’s box. While the human workforce always comes with a particular security risk level – due mostly to hackers leveraging targeted phishing tactics via email, text, and phone ad nauseam – COVID-19 shutdowns created a need for rapid enterprise technology implementation despite the risks involved. Consequently, the race to remote work blew Pandora’s box wide open, creating an explosion of technology access across the workforce. This resulted in security and compliance gaps starting to surface, paving the way for potential data breach opportunities.

International research from SailPoint shows how real the cybersecurity threat is across today’s digital enterprise. A distributed workforce means hackers can capitalize on the potential for unsecured workforce access across multiple user access points and the human element: password frailties and lax cybersecurity best practices.

The Catalyzation of The Distributed Workforce

As businesses kicked off 2020 with new goals for continued growth, many pushed forward under the assumption that their security infrastructure was sufficient. However, fast forward to the end of March, the world as we know it took an unprecedented turn as we collectively came under siege with the most significant public health crisis in a generation.

With COVID-19 blanketing the world and social distancing requirements put in place to help slow its spread, the pandemic had an immediate and catastrophic impact on global economies. Companies fortunate enough to remain open needed to shift their workforce to be fully remote. Working from home created an unrivaled digital acceleration that most did not expect, 97% of executives1 agreeing that COVID-19 sped up digital transformation by six years.

Organizations quickly looked to supply their newly distributed workforce with the technology and tools necessary to sustain business continuity, with nearly half of all employees internationally reporting they had been working remote full-time as of March. Breaking that down further, of the 36% of total U.S. respondents who reported working remotely during the start of COVID-19, 79% stated they were employed full-time (30hrs+ per week).  France, the UK, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand reported similar results, with 37% working remotely full-time during the lockdown and an additional 12% working remotely part-time.

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About the Provider

SailPoint Technologies Inc. is an Austin Texas tech company that provides Identity management and Governance for Unstructured Data access. Sailpoint was founded in 2005 by CEO Mark McClain, Chief Strategy Officer/President Kevin Cunningham and Jackie Gilbert.


Cybersecurity, Online Security, phishing attacks, Remote work