More than seven months into COVID-19, reports are revealing the extent to which organisations have been impacted - on almost every level.
44% of executives reported a negative impact on budgets, 43% reported a workforce reduction, while 37% reported reduced real estate footprints, according to a survey released by Radware today.
The report, which surveyed 260 C-level executives from around the world, also found that a massive 83% of respondents expect the changes they made in people, processes and applications in response to the pandemic to become permanent.
This is especially pronounced when it comes to the cloud - the great shift to remote working and learning has accelerated cloud migration drastically. In fact, 76% of surveyed companies adopted cloud services' faster than they had planned'.
But, according to Radware, such a quick change has punched holes in the security apparatus of many organisations.
“The transition to remote work and new online contactless business models is not temporary and is affecting the future strategy on how organisations invest in cybersecurity,” says Radware chief marketing officer Anna Convery-Pelletier.
“Normally, businesses would make this shift over an extended period of time.
“However, the pandemic forced a massive shift to remote work which is now creating new security challenges.
40% of survey respondents reported an increase in cyber attacks amid the pandemic, while 32% reported relying on their cloud provider's security services to provide security management for their public cloud assets.
Radware vice president of market strategy Michael O'Malley says the pandemic has changed how almost every organisation perceives digital transformation and cloud migration.
“Before the pandemic, digital transformation was a long-term strategic goal for most businesses,” says O'Malley.
“On-demand content consumption, contactless payments, curbside pickups and remote workforces are now business imperatives.
“Executives must revisit what they've implemented to ensure that a lack of cybersecurity planning does not undermine their goals.
Radware's report also confirmed that many decision-makers believe that remote working is here to stay: more than 80% of respondents said more than 25% of their employees would work remotely in the future. This number has swelled dramatically since before the pandemic, where only 48% of companies enabled more than 25% of their employees do so, and 6% did not enable remote work at all.
Many retailers faced pressure to adopt practices that ease the customer experience, such as kerbside pickup, eCommerce, and increased use of contactless payments.
More than any other sector, retailers reported the need to adopt cloud or hybrid cloud environments to make their networks more resilient, 57% said they plan to host their assets in either a public or private cloud environment by 2022.