“Cybersecurity has been a buzz word in the Philippines for years, but this pandemic has really pushed companies to take action within their own organizations,” said Karrie Ilagan, managing director of Cisco Philippines.
Cisco’s Future of Secure Remote Work Report revealed many Asia Pacific organizations were unprepared to make the accelerated transition to a remote workforce at the outset of COVID-19, with 54 percent of organizations only ‘somewhat’ prepared and 7 percent not prepared to support the transition.
The study is based on a survey of over 3,000 IT decision makers globally, including over 1,900 respondents across 13 Asia Pacific markets. It highlights the cybersecurity challenges companies faced as they shifted the majority of their employees to a remote working arrangement in a really short period of time.
“The good news is that the trademark Filipino resilience is also applicable to businesses in how they are able to adapt to the influx of new threats and challenges this pandemic brought in terms of cybersecurity. All they really need are the right tools and partner to make sure their efforts are worth it,” she added.
In the Philippines, secure access – defined as the ability to verify identity and establish trust no matter how, where, or when users log in – paired with maintaining and enforcement of policies are the top cybersecurity challenge faced by the largest portion of organizations (62 percent) when supporting remote workers. Unsurprisingly, data privacy (56 percent) is also a top concern for local businesses.
“The challenges of 2020 have shifted the goalposts around cybersecurity. As organizations transition to become cloud-first and remote-first, and employees expect to work from anywhere on any device, security needs to be the foundation behind the success of any digitalization effort,” Kerry Singleton, Cisco managing director, Cybersecurity, Asia Pacific, Japan and China said.
“This means having visibility of the users, devices, and the corporate applications and data they are accessing, and a flexible yet holistic cybersecurity posture to protect users and businesses from the network, to the endpoint, to the cloud,” Singleton added.
To support their needs for remote work, Philippine organizations adopted collaboration tools (74 percent), cybersecurity measures (66 percent), and cloud-based document sharing (59 percent).
This paints a picture that majority of the work being done by organizations are heavy on tasks that require employees to work in teams, be consultative, and work on the same projects remotely. The bigger challenge lies in the need to protect information as users connect from their home Wi-Fi or use their personal devices to connect to corporate applications.