New report reveals 86% of middle east IT leaders agree remote working compromises business networks

Even though 93% of Middle East technology leaders are confident on visibility into IoT devices of remote workers, 91% believe their organisation's approach to IoT security needs improvement

  

Dubai, UAE.: – Palo Alto Networks, the global cybersecurity leader, today released their second annual The Connected Enterprise: Internet of Things (IoT) Security Report 2021, research conducted by global technology market research firm Vanson Bourne, which shows that 86% of Middle East IT leaders (global average: 81%) have agreed that the shift to remote working during the pandemic has led to an increased risk and vulnerability from unsecured IoT devices on their organisation’s business networks.

While 93% of Middle East IT decision makers (global average: 85%) have enough visibility into IoT devices of their remote workers that connect to the corporate network, the report shows that 91% of Middle East IT Leaders believe their organisation’s approach to IoT security requires improvement. Although 100% of the respondents surveyed in the Middle East have a specific IoT security strategy in place, many difficult-to-secure personal IoT devices are increasingly being connected to corporate networks by remote workers, creating new opportunities for hackers to infiltrate organisations to launch ransomware attacks, steal data and launch crypto jacking operations. Security incidents are defined as an event that may indicate an attack on an organisation’s network.

COVID-19 has impacted organisations greatly, and 91% of Middle East IT organisations have seen a rise in the number of connected devices on their organisation’s network in the past year, including devices such as baby monitors, pet feeders and gym equipment leaving organisations vulnerable to attacks. Top devices that Middle East IT leaders have spotted within their networks are connected pet devices (37%), kitchen devices (36%) and sports equipment (35%).

Haider Pasha, Senior Director and Chief Security Officer at Palo Alto Networks, Middle East and Africa (MEA) said: “As work-from-home models are being normalised amongst many organisations in the Middle East, it is important for security teams to have visibility into all of the IoT devices being connected on corporate networks. Organisations in the Middle East have great confidence in their visibility of the IoT devices connecting to their network totaling up to 82%, which is a big jump from last year’s 72%.”

“During the pandemic, organisations were forced to rapidly scale their remote work infrastructure to ensure business continuity. With employees working from home, having the right cybersecurity strategy in place became critical. According to our research, all the Middle East IT leaders who were surveyed have a specific IoT strategy in place, to help them manage their networks more efficiently. Pasha added. “It is crucial for organisations to follow IoT security best practices at all times, these include: having real-time visibility of devices on a network, monitoring them continuously to identify abnormal behaviour and segmenting IT and IoT devices on separate networks. Additionally, enterprises need to ensure that they are promoting cybersecurity awareness and educating their employees on security best practices on an ongoing basis, in order to maximise impact and minimise the chance for cyberattacks to take place, in both professional and/or personal environments”.

Key data of the second annual IoT survey in the Middle East (UAE & Saudi Arabia)

  • 86% of Middle East IT Leaders Agree Remote Working Has Led to an Increased Risk from Unsecured Devices on their Organisation’s Network
  • 93% of Middle East decision makers have enough visibility into IoT devices of their remote workers that connect to the corporate network
  • 91% of Middle East IT Leaders believe their organisation’s approach to IoT security requires improvement
  • 100% of the respondents surveyed in the Middle East have a specific IoT security strategy in place
  • 91% of Middle East IT organisations have seen a rise in the number of connected devices on their organisation’s network in the past year

For more information:

  • To download the report, please visit this page.
  • To learn more about Palo Alto Networks IoT Security, please visit this page.

Survey Methodology

Palo Alto Networks commissioned technology research firm Vanson Bourne, which polled 1,900 IT decision-makers at organizations in 18 countries: United States, Canada, Brazil, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands, Middle East (comprised of the UAE and Saudi Arabia), Spain, Italy, Ireland, Australia, China (including Hong Kong), India, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.

About Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks, the global leader in cybersecurity, is defining the future of the cloud with technologies that transform the way people and organizations use it. Our mission is to be the go-to IT security partner to protect our digital way of life. We help the world meet the biggest challenges in the field through constant innovation that draws on the latest developments in artificial intelligence, analysis, automation and orchestration. By offering an integrated platform and equipping a constantly growing ecosystem of partners, we are on the front line to protect tens of thousands of companies across clouds, networks and via their mobile devices. Our vision is of a world where every day is safer than the last. For more information, visit www.paloaltonetworks.com 

About Vanson Bourne

Vanson Bourne is an independent specialist in market research for the technology sector. Their reputation for robust and credible research-based analysis is founded upon rigorous research principles and their ability to seek the opinions of senior decision makers across technical and business functions, in all business sectors and all major markets. For more information, visit www.vansonbourne.com 

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