ManageEngine's 2021 Digital Readiness Survey, which polled 1,210 IT professionals globally, including 302 in the UK, reveals a global trend for Zero Trust networks in which anything and everything trying to connect to a system has to be verified before access is granted. Adoption of these networks in other nations is looking promising, with nearly half (49%) of organisations in India, 40% in Singapore and 37% across Australia and New Zealand stating they are embracing this option. Only North America falls behind the UK in terms of adoption rates with just 20% of organisations implementing a Zero Trust network.
Nearly all (95%) of respondents said their companies are planning to keep their remote working policies in place for at least the next two years, which means effective policies will become increasingly important to mitigating cyber security risks. The majority (92%) of respondents said their organisations have seen security threats increase as a result of the pandemic, with 83% feeling that it is remote working which has placed additional challenges on security.
The increase in cyber threats is not only jeopardising organisational security, it is also placing more pressure on IT teams. The survey finds that IT teams in just over three-quarters (76%) of companies aren’t always consulted before employees purchase new software solutions and apps. Nearly two-fifths (38%) said employees have purchased online meeting tools without direct approval from IT, followed by mobile-specific apps (34%) and productivity apps (28%). A Zero Trust network can help IT teams manage crucial elements of cyber security – such as new software and apps being introduced by employees – more effectively.
Sridhar Iyengar, managing director of Zoho Europe, commented, “Organisations around the world have been forced to adapt to remote working, and a lot of the onus for following cyber security has practice has been placed on employees. Yet organisations that expect employees to follow best practices need to invest time and money into employee education. Zero Trust networks are a popular alternative that are underpinned by a “never trust, always verify” principle. This allows IT teams to take the lead and ensure that user identities are verified before they are granted the necessary privileges, whether that’s accessing certain systems or downloading new software.”