HP has released its HP Wolf Security Blurred Lines & Blindspots Report, a comprehensive global study assessing organizational cyber risk in an era of remote work.
Not surprisingly, changed work styles have created new vulnerabilities for companies, individuals and their data, and hackers are feeding in this new reality. This has necessitated development of new products and enhanced security features by tech companies, like HP.
I asked Mary Ann Yule, President & CEO at HP Canada, to describe the Canadian insights from the study, and the need for increased awareness regarding secure remote work practices and technologies.
“In today’s digital era,” began Yule, “Canadian businesses are facing a growing dilemma: how do we build a hybrid workforce of the future without exposing our businesses to unprecedented levels of cyber risk?”
“Since the pandemic forced more of our workforce to move online, there has been a 63% increase in cyberattacks in Canada,” stated Yule. “This underscores the immediate need to protect our employees and organizations – no matter where they are working.”
Explained Yule, “the future of work requires secure-by-design technology. [We] launched HP Wolf Security as a new breed of endpoint security to ensure the protection of computer networks connected to various devices used from homes offices, such as printers and PCs.”
Added Yule, “In this evolved working world, it is important for organizations to equip employees with tools that enable work to happen anywhere without sacrificing security.”
“While the blurred the lines between work and home have merged our personal and professional lives, they’ve only expanded the cybersecurity risks even further,” expanded Yule. “As a result, more data is being accessed remotely and devices are being shared with family members for personal use.”
“In the Blurred Lines & Blindspots Report,” shared Yule, “35% of Canadian office workers say they have started to regard their work laptop as both their work and personal laptop. The convenience of having work technology right at your fingertips has also enabled sharing these devices with others, with 37% of Canadian office workers revealing that someone else has used their work laptop or PC in the last year.”
Further, added Yule, “As team structures start to transcend borders, it becomes more challenging for IT teams to guard the ever-growing number of endpoints across remote working environments.”
Endpoint Security Is Critical
The effect of a corporate firewall has dissipated as work has shifted to a remote environment. The pandemic, in other words, has evolved the nature of the endpoint and IT managers must find new ways to strengthen corporate IT infrastructure.
“The majority of Canadian IT decision-makers believe endpoint security has become just as important as network security (91%),” shared Yule. “The lack of visibility into software is also a mass concern across IT departments with 97% of Canadian IT decision-makers believing employees are downloading unapproved software, which has increased their company’s risk of a security breach.”
“Over the last year, IT departments all around the world have made herculean efforts to protect their virtual teams from cyber risks IT might not even be able to see. But as the pressure grows and new risks emerge, the need for solutions that are designed with security at its core has never been more essential to building a safe and secure workforce.”
Cybersecurity Top Tips for Businesses
“Fortunately,” shared Yule, “there are some small steps organizations can take to encourage their employees to practice safer security habits while working at home:
- Invest in security designed for the future of work: As risks increase with the advent of remote and hybrid work environments, enhanced solutions are required. Look for integrated portfolio offerings that include secure by design PCs and printers, hardware enforced endpoint security software and endpoint security services.
- Think before you click: Remind employees of the importance of not opening email attachments, web pages, social media sites coming from an unknown source, or using streaming websites on any corporate technology.
- Prevent identity theft: Passwords alone are not enough to keep your identity safe. Consider integrating multi-factor authentication or biometric technology into your login routine to keep you in control of your information.”
“Security is not a destination; it’s a journey,” stated Yule. “And like any journey, we must be constantly flexible, proactive, and timely in our reactions to be resilient.”
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