The latest data from analyst firm IDC shows massive growth in the remote workforce in the coming years – something that puts organizations at greater risk for a cyberattack.
Everyone already knows that a material percentage of today’s workforce is doing so remotely as a result of COVID-19. But the projections found in IDC’s U.S. Mobile Worker Population Forecast, 2020–2024 paint a picture that, if not properly addressed proactively, will be a cybercriminal’s paradise.
According to the research, the number of mobile workers will increase from 78.5 million in 2020 to 93.5 million in the US in 2024 – an increase of nearly 20%. IDC breaks down the mobile workforce into two distinct categories:
- Information Mobile Worker – these are typically those people working from a single location using a specific endpoint to access data, content and applications. Examples of IM workers include programmers, analysts, marketers, accountants and lawyers.
- Frontline Mobile Workers – the users in this group are typically client-facing and distributed and can be working on a number of devices. Examples of these workers include nurses, store associates, and field technicians.
The challenge with growth in either group is two-fold. First, they’re not ready, as indicated by the lack of good password hygiene, the lack of preparation for cyberattack. Second, they’re already under attack, as indicated by the amount of malicious content they interact with in email and on the web already and nearly two-thirds of them have already had a credential compromised.
Taking your workforce mobile/remote is an idea whose time has come. It’s just necessary that organizations put proper Security Awareness Training in place to ensure their mobile workforce understands the cyber-minefield they’re embarking into, the increased need for them to help protect the organization when mobile, and to always be vigilant when using corporate devices, applications, or data.