Did 2020 break barriers to IT systems?
Despite the coronavirus pandemic reducing reluctance to use IT tools, the risk of a cyberattack has not decreased and if someone cares about security they should share knowledge on their own terms, say experts from the Military University of Technology.
According to cybersecurity experts, the pandemic can be seen as an opportunity for safer and more efficient sharing of knowledge through IT systems.
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Corporate executives around the world consider the risk of knowledge loss or leakage the biggest barrier to the implementation of such systems. Experts emphasize that these fears are not unfounded. According to the European Information Security Survey data (GISS - Global Information Security Survey), as many as 59 percent of organizations have experienced a significant breach of IT security within the last 12 months.
Thirty six percent of organizations have their own cybersecurity teams and involve them in new business initiatives. Although 92 percent of organizations' management boards create cybersecurity strategies, only 20 percent of strongly believe that these measures can reduce the risk of a cyber attack.
Dr. Jarosław Wróbel, Dr. Paweł Moszczyński, Michał Kapałka from the Military University of Technology and co-founder of the TakeControl group Maciej Moszczyński say the pandemic is an opportunity to overcome the barriers to the implementation and dissemination of information systems.
They add that the most valuable resource in the scientific community is intellectual property, e.g. unpublished manuscripts of articles and research results.
Moszczyński said: “We cannot say that this risk has decreased as a result of the pandemic experiences. But even if management fails to implement a knowledge-sharing system, employees will still send information to each other because they have limited opportunities to meet and use the corporate network, and the flow of documents and knowledge must be maintained. What's more, they will probably use free solutions, where the protection of property rights leaves much to be desired.”
He added that scientific espionage, like industrial espionage, is a real threat. Some universities, for example in Australia, are completely prohibited from storing data on external servers. This way, researchers protect themselves from unauthorized access.
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He continued: “Cyber threats are not the only barrier to system implementation. The other barriers include financial resources, time for training and the reluctance of employees, including objections that using the system means additional duties and can be used to control honest employees, so it is an expression of a lack of trust.”
He explains, however, that the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way organizations operate. Employees had weeks to learn remote working and networking, and entrepreneurs had to move their businesses or part of them to the Internet.
At the peak of the pandemic, there were over 500,000 people in quarantine, and at the peak of the first lockdown, up to half of companies worked remotely.
Web traffic has grown by 30-50 percent, and companies and institutions have had to allow employees to connect from outside. The share price of a company providing communication services on the ZOOM platform increased by 500 percent. The pandemic also forced cost optimisation in companies that were in a difficult financial situation.
Scientists cite the ManpowerGroup and Hrlink study, according to which as many as 55 percent of employers plan to maintain remote work to a varying extent, of which 2 percent want to continue full-time home office, and 53 percent want to use a hybrid model.
Nine out of 10 employees speak of the need for remote work, while 75 percent of interviewed employees would like to work in the hybrid model, i.e. partly in the office and partly remotely; only 2 percent would like to return to the office full-time.
According to the researchers, contemporary organizations have no choice but to share their knowledge with colleagues. From the point of view of the information society, knowledge is a key part of building a competitive advantage in companies such as Microsoft or Google. At the same time, for many years management has been moving away from the hierarchical structure in favour of decentralization.
The report’s authors said: “Since in the new paradigm employees make the majority of decisions on their own, knowledge should be shared with them. Economic success now depends on the efficiency of transferring knowledge. IT systems allow for storing and recreating knowledge. They create organizational memory. It allows us to use the many years of experience to take effective actions in the present and predict future trends and events.”
PAP - Science in Poland, Karolina Duszczyk
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