Network Security

Survey: COVID-19 has changed cyber pros’ roles, increased incident totals

In a new survey of 256 cybersecurity professionals responsible for securing their companies' digital assets, 81 percent of respondents said their job function has changed in some capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 Cybersecurity Pulse Survey study, conducted this month by the international nonprofit membership association (ISC)², suggests that a large contingent of security pros – 47 percent of respondents – are being shifted to non-security-related IT assignments.

Such assignments include equipping members of the mobile workforce – an apparently logical development, considering that 96 percent of survey-takers said their organizations instituted work-from-home policies, with 47 percent saying the entire organizational workforce is operating remotely.

But are these remote working conditions damaging to security? According to (ISC)², 23 percent of respondents said their organizations have seen an increase in cybersecurity incidents since WFH policies have taken effect. And 15 percent said their infosec teams lack the necessary resources they need to support a remote workforce.

Specific issues infosec pros said they are facing include a lack of hardware to support remote work, and helping end users comprehend and comply with security policies.

"The goal of the survey was to take the pulse of the cybersecurity community as many of their organizations began to shift their employee bases and operations to remote work setups in March and April," said Wesley Simpson, COO of (ISC)², in a press release. "While this was certainly not an in-depth study of the situation, it does provide a current snapshot of the issues and challenges our members may be facing during this unprecedented time."

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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