345 IT Security Pros Report on COVID-19 Cybersecurity Impact

Majority of security teams lacked preparation for coronavirus impacts and faced COVID-19-related attacks

Tripwire, Inc., a global cybersecurity solutions provider protecting the world’s leading organizations, today announced results of research examining how organizations are managing the impact of COVID-19 on cybersecurity, as well as the consequences of working from home. Dimensional Research conducted the survey April 14 through April 21, 2020, which included responses from 345 IT security professionals.

Tripwire, Inc. is a software company based in Portland, Oregon that develops, markets, and sells information technology for security and compliance automation. They are a leader for establishing a strong cybersecurity foundation. They are known to protect leading organizations against the most damaging cyberattacks, keeping pace with rapidly changing tech complexities to defend against ever-evolving threats for more than 20 years. On-site and in the cloud, their diverse portfolio of solutions find, monitor, and mitigate risks to organizations’ digital infrastructure—all without disrupting day-to-day operations or productivity.

According to the company’s press release, the survey indicates that 94% of cybersecurity professionals are more concerned about security now than before the COVID-19 pandemic. In assessing their security programs, 89% said COVID-19 has been a stress test for every security control and policy within their organizations. Security teams’ top areas of increased concerns include: 

  • Employee home network security (58%)
  • Increased ransomware, and phishing and social engineering attacks (45%)
  • Keeping remote systems configured securely (41%)
  • Keeping remote systems compliant (38%)

Furthermore, the survey indicates that cybersecurity incidents are on the rise. Sixty-three percent said they have experienced COVID-19-related attacks. In assessing how the significant increase in employees working from home has impacted the security team, 89% said it has made it the job more difficult. The top issues include:

  • 49% said they cannot effectively secure employees’ home office environments.
  • 41% said it is more challenging to manage what devices are connecting to their corporate networks.
  • 38% said it is hard to gain visibility into remote assets and systems.

“The massive shift to working remotely represents a huge change for organizations’ attack surfaces,” said Tim Erlin, vice president of product management and strategy at Tripwire.” It’s no surprise that security professionals are finding it challenging to monitor and minimize that new attack surface.”

The survey also found that 65% believe their security is worse because of COVID-19, and to strengthen their defenses, 53% said their companies are increasing security investments. As an immediate response, 53% are expanding the use of current security tools and 28% are investing in new ones. Also, 42% are allocating resources to train staff for new skills, and 31% are considering managed services to reduce staff burden.

Erlin added: “We’ve had unprecedented growth in the cybersecurity market in recent years, but many of the most innovative technologies are most relevant in advanced use cases. It’s understandable that as companies tighten their economic belts and discretionary budgets are reduced, we’ll see more organizations taking a closer look at what their existing tools can do to help secure their assets.”

For the full report, please visit https://www.tripwire.com/misc/covid-19-cybersecurity-report/.

Steven Bowcut is an award-winning journalist covering cyber and physical security. He is an editor and writer for Brilliance Security Magazine as well as other security and non-security online publications. Follow and connect with Steve on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.