Entrust has released a new study that suggests that the hybrid work model is likely to become permanent in the wake of the pandemic. The company surveyed more than 1,500 business leaders and another 1,500 rank-and-file employees from all over the world, and found that a full 80 percent of the former and 75 percent of the latter are either using a hybrid remote model, or are currently remote and are considering a transition to a hybrid model in the future.
However, that transition will not be without its challenges. There are significant concerns about productivity and security that stem from the continued use of legacy technologies that are not well suited to the modern workplace.
In that regard, more than half (54 percent) of the employees reported that they lost work hours because they could not gain network access to essential work resources. The business leaders, on the other hand, were more concerned about people’s security setups at home (21 percent), and the potential exposure of sensitive corporate information (20 percent). The majority (81 percent) of the leaders claimed that their company was now offering security training to employees, but only 61 percent of the employees made a similar claim. That suggests that the staff are not as well versed in security best practices as their bosses would like to believe, and that there is a severe information (and communication) disparity in many organizations.
Having said that, both groups agreed that security priorities have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the bosses who reported increased security training, 86 percent indicated that it was a direct response to COVID-19, which prompted a rapid transition to a remote work environment. Meanwhile, 96 and 93 percent, respectively, of leaders and employees felt that it was important to have a good visitor management system, with more than 80 percent of both groups identifying the risk of spread of COVID-19 as their primary motivation. Protecting confidential information was a secondary concern for roughly 60 percent of the respondents.
In the meantime, a large number of organizations have deployed new security technologies. Just over half (51 percent) have adopted a one-time password solution, while 40 percent are using biometric authentication and 36 percent have turned to some form of mobile ID. There is a sense that businesses are embracing remote work more generally, with more than two-thirds (68 percent) confirming that they would consider hiring an employee in a different region.
Entrust polled workers in the US, the UK, the UAE, Canada, Australia, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Japan, and Singapore. The company itself has previously reported poor password behaviors amongst remote workers, which would presumably be addressed with better security practices. It has also released a separate survey that suggests that consumers are willing to give up personal information in exchange for better service.
September 1, 2021 – by Eric Weiss