IT security pros still struggle with remote work basics

Working late at home

While a vast majority of organizations have transitioned to remote work during the COVID-19 outbreak, only a third of IT security professionals described that transition as 'smooth' in a new survey.

The study from OneIdentity shows 62 percent of respondents say that cloud infrastructure is more important now than 12 months ago and 31 percent attribute this shift directly to COVID-19.

"This research makes it clearly evident that cloud computing has been a lifesaver for many enterprises as IT teams pivoted and supported the massive shift to working away from offices," says Darrell Long, president and general manager at One Identity. "While we knew the pandemic-driven changes were sudden, what was particularly notable was how strongly the results proved that organizations had to turn their focus on the immediate challenges presented by the aggressive move to cloud computing, chiefly finding solutions that streamlined administering and securing who has access to what and how."

Compared to 12 months ago, 50 percent of respondents are placing a higher priority on access request technologies, and 31 percent say this change in prioritization is because of COVID. Identity/access lifecycle management, identity process and workflow, and role management have all seen increased priority among at least half of those surveyed.

Only 45 percent of IT security professionals say they are prepared for the IT changes necessary when their employees move back to organizations’ offices, according to the survey. Yet, 66 percent express increased confidence in the effectiveness of their identity management programs following the COVID-based changes.

"We now know the truth: the COVID pandemic did not change the need to be productive, nor did it change the regulatory compliance requirements companies face, but clearly IT and security teams scrambled to shift their systems to accommodate work from home in a secure and controlled way," says Long. "Companies and organizations were helped to an extent by cloud investments that prepared them pre-COVID. However, most of them are still dealing with new challenges as employees adapt, IT and security teams effectively respond to the challenge of providing effective processes for gaining access to the resources needed for the workforce to do their jobs and security challenges associated with this new working environment."

The findings will be discussed at One Identity's UNITE virtual user and partner conference, starting at 11 am EST on November 10, 2020.

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