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2 in 3 businesses see a jump in endpoint and IoT security attacks in the past year

 Published: October 28, 2020  Created: October 8, 2020

By Chris Kelly

Malware, insecure networks and remote access top the list of concerns, as organisations embrace home working, the report found. The ongoing global pandemic that has led to massive levels of remote work and an increased use of hybrid IT systems is leading to greater insecurity and risk exposure for enterprises.

According to new data today released by Cybersecurity Insiders, 72 per cent of organisations experienced an increase in endpoint and IoT security incidents in the last year, while 56 per cent anticipate their organisation will likely be compromised due to an endpoint or IoT-originated attack with the next 12 months. The 2020 Endpoint and IoT Zero Trust Security Report sponsored by Pulse Secure and produced by Cybersecurity Insiders, examines the key issues, considerations, initiatives, and investments that enterprises are advancing for more robust Zero Trust endpoint and IoT security.

The comprehensive survey of 325 IT and cybersecurity decision makers in the US, conducted in September 2020, represented a balanced cross-section of organisations from financial services, healthcare and technology to government and energy. Alongside headline data that the majority experienced an endpoint and IoT security incident over the last 12 months, the top 3 issues were related to malware (78 per cent), insecure network and remote access (61 per cent), and compromised credentials (58 per cent). Perhaps more concerning was that over forty percent of respondents (43 per cent) expressed “moderate to unlikely means to discover, identify, and respond to unknown, unmanaged, or insecure devices accessing network and cloud resources.”

“It is clear from this new research that the challenge of securing IoT and end-points has escalated considerably as employees have been forced to work remotely while organisations try to rapidly adapt to the situation,” said Scott Gordon, chief marketing officer at Pulse Secure. “The threat is real and growing. Yet, on a positive note, the survey shows that organisations are investing in key initiatives and adopting zero trust elements such as remote access device posture checking and Network Access Control (NAC) to address some of these issues. “

The research found that 41 per cent will implement or advance on-premise device security enforcement (NAC), 35 per cent will advance their remote access devices posture checking, and 22 per cent will advance their IoT device identification and monitoring capabilities. For those that have been victim of an endpoint or IoT security issue, the most significant negative impact was a reported loss of user (55 per cent) and IT (45 per cent) productivity, followed by system downtime (42 per cent).

Holger Schulze, CEO and Founder of Cybersecurity Insiders added, “The diversity of users, devices, networks, and threats continue to grow as enterprises take advantage of greater workforce mobility, workplace flexibility, and cloud computing opportunities. Not only do organisations need to ensure endpoints are secure and adhering to usage policy, but they must also manage appropriate IoT device access. New Zero Trust security controls can fortify dynamic device discovery, verification, tracking, remediation, and access enforcement.”

The full 2020 Endpoint and IoT Zero Trust Security Report is available for free download by clicking here. Additional key findings include:

  • Respondents rated the biggest endpoint and IoT security challenges as #1 insufficient protection against the latest threats (49 per cent), #2 high complexity of deployment and operations (47 per cent), and #3 inability to enforce endpoint and IoT device access/usage policy (40 per cent).
  • Respondents rated the most critical capabilities required to mitigate endpoint and IoT security as #1 monitoring endpoint or IoT devices for malicious or anomalous activity (54 per cent), #2 blocking or isolating unknown or at-risk endpoint and IoT devices’ network access (51 per cent), and #3 blocking at-risk devices’ access to network or cloud resources (46 per cent).
  • When asked about anticipated investments to secure remote worker access and endpoint security technology, most organisations (61 per cent) anticipate an increase, or significant increase, while few expect a decrease (6 per cent).

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