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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Almost 82% Hong Kong businesses plan to keep remote working post-COVID-19

Companies are also allowing employees to use personal devices to conduct company work.

A recent survey has revealed that 67% of Hong Kong businesses are practicing remote working, and 82% of them intend to keep it that way even after the pandemic is over. Conducted by independent research agency Censuswide and commissioned by cloud-enabled security solutions provider Barracuda Networks, the study covered 1,055 business decision makers in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and India in July.

The study revealed that the mindset of business leaders in Hong Kong has now shifted to optimism, with 82% planning to keep remote working in place for employee productivity and business continuity once the pandemic is over, creating a more flexible and hybrid workplace.

According to the study, COVID-19 has been the catalyst for 79% of organisations in Hong Kong to accelerate digital transformation plans in the next six months. They are aiming to ease the burdens placed on the traditional business model by remote working.

A key component of this transformation is cloud computing. On average, 76% have fast tracked plans to move all data to a cloud-based model, particularly in the healthcare (88%), travel & transport (82%), IT and telecommunications (81%), education (80%) and legal (80%) sectors. Around 80% of them believe this shift will help reduce overall IT costs to support business growth.

The digital transformation come with setbacks though. The study indicated that 55% of organisations in Hong Kong have already had at least one data breach or cyber security incident since shifting to a remote working model. The top five industries that have been the most affected are healthcare (83%), finance (76%), manufacturing & utilities (67%), travel & transport (67%) and IT & telecommunications (52%).

Among all the respondents, 40% reported that their employees had already experienced an increase in email phishing attacks, 42% of organisations expect an incident to occur in the next month and 47% are concerned about unknown threats that will cause business disruption in the next six months.

The study also found that 59% of organisations in Hong Kong do not have an up-to-date cybersecurity strategy and solutions in place that cover all the vulnerabilities posed by full-time remote working.

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