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Menlo Security Research Shows 75% of Organisations Re-evaluating Security Strategy as Remote and Hybrid Working Set to Remain

October 2021 by Menlo Security

Three-quarters rely on traditional VPNs for remote access while a third also use zero trust as part of their remote access strategy Over half plan to reduce third party/contractor access to systems due to security risks

A report launched today by Menlo Security highlights growing concerns about securing users as the trend for hybrid and remote working is set to remain. The new report – which surveyed 500+ IT decision makers in the U.S. and the U.K., including a third at C-level – looks at attitudes to securing remote access to applications and resources and the adoption of zero trust solutions.

While most respondents (83%) say they are confident in their strategy for controlling access to applications for remote users, three-quarters are re-evaluating theirs in the wake of new ways of working and the growth in cloud application use. While half of employees are currently working remotely or adopting a hybrid approach, around two-fifths (42%) are expected to continue in 12 months’ time.

According to the findings, three-quarters (75%) of organisations continue to rely on VPNs (virtual private network) for controlling remote access to applications, which rises to 81% for organisations of 10,000+ employees. For around a third (36%) of organisations a zero trust approach also forms part of their remote access strategy.

The top reason for implementing a zero trust solution is improved security, according to 60% of respondents, regardless of whether they are using it or not. One third (32%) point to ease of use, while speed of access and scalability are both more widely recognised among those already adopting a zero trust approach. Significantly, 40% of respondents believe that implementing a zero trust solution places less pressure on IT.

Despite overall confidence by global IT decision makers in the robustness of their strategy for controlling application access for remote users, Menlo Security’s research also shows that:

- Three-quarters of respondents believe that hybrid and remote workers accessing applications on unmanaged devices poses a significant threat to their organisation’s security. Despite this, around a fifth still allow unmanaged devices – laptops, desktops and mobile devices – to connect to corporate applications and resources.

- While the majority (79%) of respondents have a security strategy in place for remote access by third parties and contractors, there are growing concerns about the risks they present, with just over half (53%) planning to reduce or limit third party/contractor access to systems and resources over the next 12­–18 months.

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