Zero trust helps protect shift to remote work

home working

A new report from Akamai looks at the technology shifts and usage patterns of 2020 noting a 30 percent jump in internet traffic thanks to COVID-19 lockdowns.

It also highlights criminals taking advantage worldwide, targeting all business sectors and industries, including information technology and security.

However, Akamai's layered defenses were able to adapt to a remote work environment. Zero trust enabled the company's remote workers to do their jobs from anywhere while remaining protected.

"Defending enterprise systems is a challenge at the best of times," said Robert Blumofe, chief technology officer at Akamai. "Doing so in the middle of a pandemic only adds to these complexities and challenges. Akamai was able to transition to, and defend, a 99 percent remote workforce, because we've long viewed all access as remote access. We built our environment with the necessary capabilities, including leveraging Zero Trust concepts and robust, layered defenses."

According to the report, based on the company's Enterprise Threat Protector logs, in 2020 Akamai faced 21.5 million malicious DNS queries out of an aggregate of 109 billion, or about 299 million DNS queries per day. The majority of these were malware attacks, with Akamai logging 10.2 million blocked requests related to malware during the year. This could be due to a malicious link being clicked in an email, document, or even on a website, but the exact cause of the block events remain unknown. The logs also show 6.3 million blocked phishing attempts during the year.

"One of the lessons learned in 2020, as it pertains to remote work and distance learning, is that the usual way of protection will work to a degree, but security must adapt rapidly to changing situations," says Steve Ragan, Akamai security researcher, and author of the State of the Internet / Security report. "Just because a policy or program works great in a data center or office doesn’t mean it will work when everyone has to go home. The forced changes in 2020 were a blunt reminder of this fact."

You can get the full report from the Akamai site.

Photo credit: Kite_rin / Shutterstock

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