Tuesday 8 June 2021 10:55 am

Swift shift to remote working may have had 'major security trade-offs'

US-based AvePoint, which manages data for Microsoft 365, has said today that although the shift to remote working was swift, it ‘may have come with major security trade-offs’.

In a workplace Covid impact survey released today, the software firm revealed how despite UK organisations having a quick pivot to the digital sphere, most companies did not have a rollout plan.

“While the speed at which many organisations pivoted to the cloud this year was nothing short of amazing, that may have come with major security trade-offs,” chief product officer at AvePoint, and Microsoft regional director, John Peluso, said.

“But I am optimistic because, as our survey revealed, many businesses now have an opportunity to reduce risk in the near and long-term with proper governance solutions in place.”

Virtual collaboration

Three quarters, or 75 per cent, of organisations deployed Microsoft Teams without proper governance or security in place, leaving them vulnerable to internal and external threats, the survey said.

Although 95 per cent of companies think their digital work is compliant with regulations, just 28 per cent check settings and membership of Microsoft Teams to spot potential risks annually.

Meanwhile, only 25 per cent removed guest users and less than a quarter of businesses can find who has access to specific data for tasks like auditing.

Microsoft Teams, which has over 145m daily users, has been a gateway for meeting and collaboration in the virtual workplace post-pandemic.

As work-from-home orders were deployed across the globe, Microsoft has enjoyed a 28 per cent jump in its software usage from pre-pandemic levels.  

“As more companies adopt cloud-based tools for digital collaboration, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the data created, and who has access to it,” UK, Ireland and South Africa country manager, Nigel Kilpatrick, said.

“Even as companies return to hybrid work environments, scaling management, governance and compliance remains vital.”