Spotlight on Mexico: The New World of Work Requires a New Cybersecurity Mindset
Embracing the new world of hybrid and remote work in Mexico has opened the door to new and unmanaged cyber risk. Here's what you need to know.
The pandemic completely transformed the way most organizations work, and Mexico is no exception. At the beginning of 2020, hybrid and remote work models were far-off visions of the future at a time when only 16% of Mexican organizations had employees working remotely. By April 2021, eight out of 10 Mexican organizations had adopted remote work, with 71% planning to make it permanent in the next one to two years. Yet, 80% of security and business leaders have raised concerns that this new world of work creates increased risk.
The self-reported data is drawn from a commissioned study of more than 1,300 security leaders, business executives and remote employees worldwide, including 155 respondents in Mexico. The study, Beyond Boundaries: The Future of Cybersecurity in the New World of Work, was conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Tenable in April 2021.
Embracing new world of work brings new and unmanaged cyber risk
The rapid transition to facilitate remote work accelerated technology adoption. As a result, the attack surface has transformed with the adoption of new cloud-based solutions, alongside significant changes in the digital platforms and the software supply chain in order to improve collaboration, communication and productivity.
The vast majority (82%) of remote workers in Mexico have six or more devices connected to their home networks, and many admit to using a personal device to access customer data (59%) and financial records (40%). Six out of 10 security leaders said they lack visibility over remote employee home security practices.
Cloud-based solutions played a key role in enabling businesses continuity. Today, Mexican organizations have moved business-critical functions (77%) and non-business critical functions (90%) into the cloud.
Digital platforms and services are next. Almost half (47%) of Mexican organizations enhanced existing digital platforms, while 23% created new platforms in pandemic times. Looking to the future, 67% of security and business leaders said enhancing digital platforms will continue to be a priority.
The software supply chain also expanded as a result of the pandemic, according to 63% of respondents; another 14% expect to add new software over the next 12-24 months.
Attackers have also evolved
Attackers have capitalized on these workforce changes. Ninety-six percent of Mexican organizations experienced a business-impacting* cyberattack in the last 12 months, with 81% falling victim to four or more
When looking at the focus of these attacks:
- 74% resulted from vulnerabilities in systems and/or applications put in place in response to the pandemic
- 69% targeted remote workers or those working from home
- 59% resulted from a third-party software vendor compromise
- 57% involved an unmanaged personal device used in a remote work environment
The time to rethink risk management is now
There is no turning back. A new world of work that combines in-office and remote work is here to stay. As a result, security and business leaders are turning their eyes forward and planning to increase investments in network security (88%), vulnerability management (79%) and cloud security (75%) in the next one to two years. Seventy-three percent feel confident that in the next two years they will have the ability to accurately analyze and measure cyber risk, allowing for better business and technology decisions.
Managing risk in an environment where the perimeter has disappeared even as the attack surface continues to expand isn't an easy task. Organizations cannot rely on yesterday's tools to secure this new reality. Securing the new world of work requires a new mindset. It's imperative that organizations gain a holistic view of their risk profile and re-evaluate their cybersecurity strategies to ensure businesses aren't left vulnerable.
If cybersecurity strategy fails to keep pace with business changes, today's risk could become tomorrow's reality.
*A business-impacting cyberattack is one which results in one or more of the following outcomes: loss of customer, employee, or other confidential data; interruption of day-to-day operations; ransomware payout; financial loss or theft; and/or theft of intellectual property.
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