COVID-19 completely turned the world upside down. Organizations around the world had to rapidly adapt to stay-at-home orders and equip employees with the ability to work remotely and securely. This sudden switch to remote work is going to affect all aspects of how an organization is run for decades to come.

Cisco recently surveyed more than 3,000 IT decision makers across the globe to better understand remote work in the post-COVID-19 world. The results can help organizations embrace remote work and better equip employees to succeed in this new working environment. Here are the top five takeaways from Cisco’s Future of Secure Remote Work Report.

Top Five Things To Know From Cisco’s Future of Secure Remote Work Report

1) Remote Work Is Here To Stay

One of the biggest takeaways from the report is that remote work is not going away anytime soon. 62% of respondents said that more than half of their workforce is now working from home since the pandemic began. The trend of remote work is not slowing down anytime soon. 37% of respondents claimed that more than half of their workforce will continue to remotely work after the pandemic ends.

2) Organizations Are More Vulnerable Than Ever

Remote work has its benefits, but it also leaves organizations more exposed to hackers. 61% of respondents said that they had an increase in cybersecurity threat activity of more than 25% since the pandemic began. More worrying is that 8% of respondents said they did not know if cybersecurity threats had increased or decreased. Organizations need to invest in securing their ability to keep valuable information and data safe while workers are using their own internet access from home or wherever they may be located.

3) Organizations Changed Cybersecurity Policies

Many companies have had to completely change their cybersecurity policies in order to adjust to the new normal. 93% of small businesses, 98% of medium businesses, and 97% of large businesses all found it necessary to revamp their cybersecurity policies, with 95% of organizations claiming the change was permanent. Companies also see the need to improve cybersecurity infrastructure and tools. 66% of organizations plan to increase investment in cybersecurity.

4) Secure Access Is The Biggest Challenge

Ensuring that a user is who they say they are when they log into is an extremely difficult task. The ability to verify identity and establish trust no matter where, when, or how employees access systems and data gave IT decision makers the most headaches. 63% of respondents said that secure access is the biggest challenge that they are currently facing in terms of remote work.

5) The United States Is Fully Embracing Remote Work

American companies have fully embraced remote work since the pandemic began. Organizations have seen the benefits of remote work, such as decreased office space expenses and higher productivity. 50% of American respondents claimed that they will continue remote work policies after the pandemic ends, as compared to 37% globally. The United States will continue to be a leader in this new age of work.