Shift to remote working has accelerated digitalization: Cisco’s report

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
  • Follow author on
Remote working
Representational Image

A recent report by Duo Security at Cisco, a leading multi-factor authentication (MFA) and secure access provider has revealed that the unexpected technological changes companies experienced this year have led to an increase in the adoption of digital solutions like cloud technology.

The 2020 Duo Trusted Access Report reveals how the organizations rapidly shifted their entire workforce to use remote team collaboration technologies, relied on remote access technologies like virtual private networks ( VPN ) and remote desktop protocol (RDP), among numerous other efforts.

The security implications of this transition will be seen for years, as the hybrid workplace demands the workforce to be secure, connected and productive from anywhere around the globe.

The report says that as a result of the hybrid working authentication activity of technologies surged up to 60 percent, due to which Duo’s monthly authentications jumped from 600 million to 900 million per month.

Meanwhile, a complementary Cisco survey showed that 96 percent of organizations have taken serious cybersecurity policy changes during the pandemic.

The Duo report shows that during the first few months of the pandemic the daily authentications to cloud apps increased by 40 percent and the majority of it was from medium-sized companies that are looking to ensure secure access to various cloud services.

Fady Younes
Fady Younes Cybersecurity Director
Cisco-MEA region

“As the pandemic began, the priority for many organizations was keeping the lights on and accepting risk in order to accomplish this end. Attention has now turned towards lessening risk by implementing a more mature and modern security strategy that accounts for a traditional corporate perimeter that has been completely upended.”

As organizations scrambled to collect required equipment to support remote work, employees relied on personal or unmanaged devices in the interim, which led to 90 percent blocked access attempts in march due to out-of-date devices. However, the figure fell steeply in April, showing healthier device availability and lowered risk of breach due to malware.

The report further adds that due to the SIM-swapping attacks companies are mandated to strengthen their authentication schemes and the percentage of organizations that enforce a policy to disallow SMS authentication nearly doubled from 8.7 percent to 16.1 percent, year-on-year.