COVID prompts 'significant shift' in IT security priorities

While almost all IT security professionals have transitioned to remote work because of COVID-19, only a third described that transition as “smooth”.

This is according to a new survey, carried out by Dimensional Research on behalf of One Identity, among 1,216 IT security stakeholders between at the end of August.

Another finding was that 62 per cent of respondents indicated that cloud infrastructure is more important now than 12 months ago, with 31 per cent attributing this shift directly to the pandemic.

Shifts in priorities also indicated that organisations are turning their focus on tackling the security basics. When compared to 12 months ago, half of respondents were placing a higher priority on access request technologies - and again, 31 per cent said this change in prioritisation was because of COVID.

Access lifecycle management, identity process and workflow, and role of management all saw increased priority among at least half of those surveyed.

Perhaps shell shocked, only 45 per cent of IT security professionals indicated they are prepared for the IT changes necessary when their employees move back to organisations’ offices. Yet, two thirds (66 per cent) expressed increased confidence in the effectiveness of their identity management programs post COVID-based changes.

Darrell Long, president and general manager at One Identity, commented: "The COVID pandemic did not change the need to be productive, nor did it change the regulatory compliance requirements companies face, but clearly IT and security teams scrambled to shift their systems to accommodate work from home in a secure and controlled way.

“Companies and organisations were helped to an extent by cloud investments that prepared them pre-COVID," he continued. "However, most of them are still dealing with new challenges as employees adapt, IT and security teams effectively respond to the challenge of providing effective processes for gaining access to the resources needed for the workforce to do their jobs and security challenges associated with this new working environment.”

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