COVID-19 has reorganized the risk landscape for chief audit executives (CAEs), as CAEs have listed IT governance as the top risk for 2021, according to Gartner, Inc. Analysts said the pandemic is giving rise to new sets of risks while exacerbating long-standing vulnerabilities.
Abrupt work-from-home mandates have accelerated digital roadmaps, causing many organizations to vault years forward in the space of a few weeks. This move has spurred the rapid adoption of new technologies both on the employee and customer side, presenting new challenges to productivity, consumer preferences and guarding against security vulnerabilities. CAEs need to assess how new technology adoption may be hobbling their IT departments’ plans, with IT support incident requests doubling in early 2020 to support a huge increase in work-from-home employees. Additionally, managing access rights for many more remote workers presents new risks such as “privileged user abuse,” which is expected to climb over the next 12 to 24 months according to a Gartner IT executive survey.