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Eighty-two percent of businesses worldwide are concerned about the potential security risks of having employees work remotely, a survey by Thales Group found.

Almost half of the respondents said the severity/scope of cyberattacks had increased in the past year after companies shifted to remote work because of the pandemic, according to the poll.

Forty-one percent of businesses that had not experienced a cyberattack previously reported an event in the past year, the survey found. That’s up from 21 percent in 2019, it added.

Of the industries polled, retailers are at the highest risk for data breaches with 61 percent either experiencing a breach or failing a data-protection audit in 2020, Thales said.

Half of businesses surveyed said they stored their data on a cloud server, leaving room for cybersecurity issues. Forty-six percent reported that their security infrastructure wasn’t ready to handle the cyber risks caused by the pandemic, the study found.

“With once unprecedented amounts of data now being used and stored in the cloud, it is vital that businesses deploy a robust security strategy based on data discovery, protection and control,” Sebastien Cano, Thales’s senior vice president for cloud protection and licensing activities, said in the report.

The Thales Data Threat Report polled more than 2,600 executives in 16 countries.

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