Hybrid Work Adoption Will Invite More Cyberattacks

Remote work was just the beginning, as Forrester Consulting’s new report for Tenable makes clear.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

September 27, 2021

4 Min Read
security lock

Almost three-quarters (74%) of business and security leaders say the remote-work measures they implemented in response to COVID-19 opened them to hackers. In fact, 92% of executives report a cyberattack or compromise within the past 12 months. Those events led to the loss of a customer, employee or confidential data, or another negative ramification. And with rising hybrid work adoption, the attack surfaces will only expand. Managed security service providers’ responsibilities just got tougher.

The statistics come from Forrester Consulting in a report, “Beyond Boundaries: The Future of Cybersecurity in the New World of Work,” commissioned by Tenable. Tenable specializes in vulnerability risk management. To be sure, cyber risk will keep increasing as organizations employ people both in corporate offices and in remote locations. This hybrid work adoption means new configurations will create fresh opportunities for exploitation. As hybrid work sticks around, MSSPs must rethink how they approach cybersecurity on their customers’ behalves. Channel Futures caught up with Tenable’s Nathan Wenzler, chief security strategist, for more insight.

Channel Futures: What do you think are the three most important takeaways for MSSPs to understand from this report and its findings? Why?


Tenable’s Nathan Wenzler

Nathan Wenzler: The world of work is completely different than it was just a few years ago. Organizations were forced to suddenly adapt, and adopt new technologies to support a remote workforce and more distant customers. Tools and technologies underpinned all of the change to support this new model and will continue to do so for years to come. In order to keep up with this new world of work, MSSPs need to offer customers strategic guidance on how to navigate this paradigm quickly and in a secure way.

Additionally, with 70% of organizations planning to have employees working from home at least one day a week within the next 12-24 months, MSSPs also need to adjust their services to support a hybrid work environment. MSSPs that fail to offer solutions and services that accommodate the new world of work will struggle to be successful.

Finally, the study reveals that foundational investments in cybersecurity will continue to be a priority in workplaces without boundaries. This presents a massive opportunity to MSSPs to serve as strategic advisers as organizations look to secure their new and vastly more dynamic attack surface.

CF: What vendor-neutral advice do you have to offer MSSPs in light of these results?

NW: Just as the role of technology has changed in the corporate environment – from being a business enabler to a business imperative – MSSPs also need to shift their approaches. Securing the technology that underpins the new world of work will create new revenue streams and opportunities to develop even deeper, more trusted relationships with customers. MSSPs should adjust how they position, bundle and sell their services accordingly.

CF: Other thoughts to add related to this new report and the channel?

NW: When 78% of respondents state they still are managing a remote workforce over a year into the pandemic, and 70% state they continue to plan for a remote workforce into the future, it’s easy to see that the vast majority of organizations have gone through a significant shift in the way they do business in a very short time. This means that speed is now a larger key to success than ever before. MSSPs who can help their customers adapt quickly to changing business requirements and provide relevant strategic security solutions as the technologies being implemented continue to evolve and expand are going to be the service providers who will be the most successful going forward.

Here are some other big takeaways from Forrester’s report for Tenable, with hybrid work adoption in mind:

  • More than a year into the pandemic, 78% of organizations still have some portion of their employees working from home; roughly half say 50% or more work remotely.

  • Only one-third (34%) of remote workers strictly follow their organization’s security guidelines.

  • More than half of remote workers access customer data using a personal device.

  • Ninety-eight percent of remote workers use at least one personal device for work every day.

  • Remote workers have an average of eight devices connecting to their home networks. On average, have three people in their household with devices on the same network.

  • Forty-three percent of security leaders say they lack visibility into employee home networks and connected devices; just 33% feel they have enough staff to adequately monitor their organizations’ attack surfaces.

  • Seventy-three percent of security leaders report their company data is at greater risk since the onset of the pandemic.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Kelly Teal or connect with her on LinkedIn.


Read more about:

MSPsChannel Research

About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like