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As second lockdown kicks-in, Zscaler research shows lack of secure remote access in UK businesses

November 2020 by Zscaler

As England enters its second lockdown in the run up to Christmas, new Zscaler research sheds light on whether businesses are doing enough to keep their remote workers secure doing this prolonged absence from the corporate office. It was only back in August that workers were allowed to return to offices, and now they’ve been obliged to work remotely once again. With the responsibility on businesses to keep their remote workers secure whilst operating outside of the office space, new research from Zscaler shows how businesses across the UK are struggling to adopt adequate remote access solutions to combat growing threats.

Only 45% of UK respondents are confident that they have a secure remote access infrastructure in place for supporting remote working. Just over a third (34%) are evaluating new security solutions based on the growing remote workforce requirements.

The most widely used remote access solution in the UK is the remote desktop protocol (RDP), followed by the remote access virtual private network (VPN), at 45% and 36% respectively. This is worrying, as solutions like these have been shown to have numerous vulnerabilities. In mid-October, the U.S. National Security Agency released a list of the top 25 security vulnerabilities that Chinese hackers are actively exploiting to steal intellectual property, economic, political, and military information. Among them sit numerous remote desktop and VPN vulnerabilities.

Ismail Elmas, GVP EMEA & APAC at Zscaler, explained, “It’s worrying that less than half of respondents in the UK are confident in the security of their current remote access infrastructure, but a promising number of companies are re-evaluating their current set-up. Businesses have identified that there’s a lot of work to be done to update their infrastructure, but they need to make this a priority, as the remote working situation looks likely to persist into the New Year.”

Conducted by Atomik Research, 606 CIOs, CISOs and heads of network architecture in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands were surveyed within enterprises with more than 3,000 employees.

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