COVID-19 prompts shifts in IT priorities in Singapore, One Identity global survey shows

Singapore – November 3, 2020 – One Identity, a proven leader in identity-centred security,  commissioned a global survey that reveals IT and security team attitudes regarding their responses to COVID-19-driven work environment changes. The results shed insight into IT best practices that have emerged in recent months, and how organisations rushed to adopt them to maintain a secure and efficient virtual workplace.

A free executive summary and key findings of the survey results are available online here. Dimensional Research conducted the One Identity-commissioned research, which surveyed 1216 IT security stakeholders between August 20 and September 3, 2020. 

According to the survey, IT security professionals globally (99%) said their organisation’s transitioned to remote work because of COVID-19, and in Singapore less than a third (29%) described that transition as “smooth.” Almost six in ten (59%) respondents indicated that cloud infrastructure is more important now than 12 months ago in Singapore with 28% attributing this shift directly to COVID-19. The cloud has become front and centre to the new working reality, creating flexibility for employees. These results demonstrate that the previous level of attention to cloud deployments, while notable, does not appear to have been nearly enough to accommodate the dramatic computing shift across organisations.

Identity management became more important for 65% of Singaporeans, with almost a quarter (24%) attributing this shift to COVID-19. Twenty-five percent (25%) of them acknowledged that the pandemic impacted their identity management compliances, indicating a huge security risk that organisations dealt with due to sudden move to remote working.

“This research revealed that identity management has been a major focus for many enterprises in Singapore amid the pandemic as IT teams pivoted the transitions into a remote workforce,” said Serkan Cetin, Technical Director, APJ, One Identity. “However, pre-COVID security processes and strategies have not been fully effective in supporting the new working environment, and the sudden shift to remote working has resulted in challenges to ensuring secure access, third party administration, and maintaining governance across application accesses and data.”

Shifts in priorities indicate organisations in Singapore are turning their focus on tackling the security basics. When compared to 12 months ago, 48% of respondents in Singapore are placing a higher priority on access request technologies and 27% said this change in prioritisation is because of COVID. Identity/access lifecycle management, identity process and workflow, and role management all saw increased priority among at least half of those surveyed in Singapore.

Perhaps shell shocked, only 45% of IT security professionals in Singapore indicated they are fully prepared for the IT changes necessary when their employees move back to organisations’ offices, according to survey results. Yet, 59% of Singaporeans expressed increased confidence in the effectiveness of their identity management programmes post COVID-based changes.

“While remote access is a valuable enabler of employee productivity, it is also an attractive attack surface for hackers. The increase in successful attacks discovered during COVID-19 clearly shows us that we must find better and more reliable ways of securing applications and data, meeting regulatory compliance requirements, whilst providing the capability to be better prepared for future events” said Cetin. “At the same time, most businesses are still dealing with new challenges as employees adapt, IT and security teams respond to the need of providing effective processes for gaining access with this new working environment.”

An in-depth analysis of the survey study – “And the Survey Says: Insights gained from the annual One Identity Global Survey” presented by Todd Peterson, IAM Evangelist – will be presented during the live session of One Identity’s UNITE virtual user and partner conference, starting at 11 pm SGT on November 10, 2020. Registration is free through the online site.

About the 2020 One Identity Global Survey: “Identity Governance and Administration for the New Computing Normal”

Conducted by Dimensional Research, One Identity’s 2020 Identity Management and Governance study surveyed IT security professionals from midsize and large enterprises on their current experiences, trends and approaches to Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) and Application Lifecycle Management attitudes – especially in regard to responding to COVID-19-driven work environment changes. The study consisted of an online survey of IT professionals in midsize or large organisations with responsibility for security and who are very knowledgeable about IAM and privileged accounts. A total of 1,216 individuals from the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, BeNeLux, Nordics, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong completed the survey. Responses were captured between August 20, 2020 and September 3, 2020.

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