As COVID-19 engulfed the world, businesses and individuals rapidly shifted to remote working, relying more than ever on digital channels to stay productive, connected and informed. For communications service providers, responding to the enormous and rapid change in usage patterns was an overriding priority.
At the same time, the cyber-attack landscape intensified as malicious actors capitalized on disruption to launch cyber-attacks on distributed workplaces. This meant efforts to scale up infrastructure had to be balanced with maintaining cyber security and resilience. To understand how communications service providers coped with these challenges, A10 Networks surveyed over 1,200 senior IT professionals from a range of communications service providers across five different countries – UK, France, Germany, Middle East and India – including 250 French respondents.
Like many countries in Europe, France was severely affected by the global pandemic, both in terms of the health and the economic impact, and this was echoed in the A10 Networks research. The pandemic had a significant impact on communications service providers with 100 percent of French respondents surveyed saying it had created a more distributed environment.
This has changed enterprise customer behavior in several ways. It has increased demand for online platforms, but it also amplified concerns around cyber security and business continuity. Additionally, the overall pool of subscribers increased as more enterprises moved to digital platforms. The ripple effect is increased expectations around cyber security.
The French recovery is now underway with vaccines rolling out, and so the focus will be on minimizing the economic costs of the pandemic and getting back to ‘normal.’ However, it is apparent from the research that communications service providers in France aren’t convinced that the workforce will simply snap back to how it was. Only 7 percent of respondents say enterprises will return to pre-pandemic working practices, while 93 percent say remote working will continue in some form.
Furthermore, the pandemic has impacted investment intentions in France. More than half of respondents say that they plan to invest less in their own network and more in the public cloud and the pandemic has accelerated investment plans in cyber security.
Given the shift to remote working, it’s not surprising that supporting employees has become one of the top cyber security challenges enterprises are facing. Half of respondents said they need to offer better cyber security to their employees for their remote network and endpoints to protect against increasing cyber-attacks. Others are looking to roll out training to prevent cyber-attacks and offer multi-factor authentication to their workforce to enhance cyber security.
The pandemic is still taking its toll across Europe. Communications service providers will need to continue to adapt their infrastructures and security postures to ensure network availability and security with the ever-growing cyber-attack landscape.
If you are interested in understanding more about the challenges facing communications service providers in France, why not download our research report here.