Intelligent CIO APAC Issue 01 | Page 37

TALKING business ‘‘ The pandemic-induced rush to work from home has quickly reduced visibility of the network for IT teams of businesses of all sizes. This rush has left staff literally to their own devices and more prone to breaches, particularly with COVIDrelated scams on the rise using phishing emails and phone calls impersonating the World Health Organization, for example. It’s also led to another familiar natural consequence of staff being away from the office: Shadow IT. Businesses are now quickly learning how to secure the network with increasingly complex requirements, while also keeping staff happy and engaged using the devices and apps they’re comfortable using from home. If these lessons are heeded, the world will be ready to make this temporary work era something more permanent and bring with them a new era of efficiency and productivity. But a few more checks and balances when it comes to security need to be considered before organizations dive in completely. A long time coming The implementation of ‘telecommuting’ strategies has been a slow burn despite the promises of productivity increases and happier staff. Recent research from Gartner found that demand for remote work will increase by 30%, led by a demand driven by Generation Z – while a significant number, that’s an increase over a full decade and suggests that telecommuting wasn’t an immediate priority. Further, a litany of failed WFH initiatives left many organizations cautious, with Yahoo’s decision in 2013 to ban working from home heralded by some as the collapse of home working. However, the pandemic, quite clearly, has changed everything. A recent survey found that nearly 50% of organizations now have 81% or more of their staff working remotely as a result of the pandemic, with another 15% of respondents claiming between 61–80% of staff were working remotely. For many businesses, those changes could be permanent. Optus, Australia’s second largest telco, has already stated that its work-from-home measures will remain Jamie Humphrey, General Manager Australia and New Zealand, Rubrik “ UNFORTUNATELY FOR ORGANIZATIONS, IT APPEARS CYBERTHREATS ARE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE SUDDEN SHIFT AND HAVE RAMPED UP THEIR ATTACKS. a permanent feature for its call center operations in Australia. Yet if Optus’ mandate is to become the norm for other businesses too, the convenience of working from home – including using one’s own device and applications – needs to be balanced with an increased focus on security. Unfortunately for organizations, it appears cyberthreats are taking advantage of the sudden shift and have ramped up their attacks. INTELLIGENTCIO 37