At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, industries have made rapid digital evolution, such as cloud-first computing, all-remote arrangements, and widespread digital transformation. These include the use of project management platforms and working with ServiceNow implementation partners to handle the technical requirements of the remote workplace.
As companies focused on risk reduction strategy to thrive in a global crisis, the current climate made it harder for them to maintain business security and sustainable cybersecurity processes. The rapid implementation of physical distancing guidelines has altered economic realities and business operations, making it reasonable for businesses to evaluate and address their cybersecurity measures and IT infrastructure.
Recalibrating cyber defenses for a newer level of digital threats should take priority. Cybersecurity platforms have been helping businesses build cyber resilience to deal with the increasing volume and scope of these cyber attacks. This means creating organizations that focus on preventive measures and know how to detect and act on these digital compromises.
According to the FBI, cybercrime reports quadruple from the previous years and attackers have created COVID-19-related attacks, such as new phishing scams and fraudulent websites disguising as relief organizations. Companies relying on videoconferencing platforms to manage their remote workforce were common victims as they faced surveillance concerns and unauthorized recordings.
Given the ever-increasing challenges of digital security, companies should rethink their cybersecurity strategies and bolster defenses to build stronger network infrastructure. With this in mind, here are ways to protect your company and boost its resilience in the post-pandemic digital landscape.
Amid stronger security contexts, employees are still risking companies to a range of digital vulnerabilities because of their carelessness and lack of cybersecurity education. In a global report by Ponemon, insider threats rose by 47% over the last few years and their associated costs increased by 31%, which amounts to $11.45 million. The most troubling fact is that 62% of the recorded insider threats were caused by unintentional human error.
These figures highlight the importance of recognizing the human element of cybersecurity. Companies should create two sets of teams when creating a post-pandemic cybersecurity strategy. This means having security teams who will manage remote employees and those who come to the office.
In these cases, companies should understand that the immediate transition to a remote work arrangement has shifted everyone’s focus to attain business continuity while security has taken a backseat. This reality presents two implications for companies planning a stronger post-pandemic security strategy: establish security governance for remote employees, including their devices, process, and applications; and prevent former remote employees from bringing any compromised digital assets to the company’s IT infrastructure.
Every organization should recognize that adopting a new work arrangement requires a new operations model for IT systems. It’s worth noting that transitioning to a work from home (WFH) setup will generate bigger demands on business networks. Security practitioners have seen increased broadband usage, which paved the way for serious challenges concerning physical networking infrastructure and its ability to support the increasing volume of users.
The increasing number of WFH employees has also caused a huge uptick in bandwidth and traffic requirements from programs that cater to the remote workforce. These include Zoom and Microsoft who witnessed a spike in the number of its users since the pandemic.
A decentralized workforce means greater dependence on network capacity and bandwidth management, which can lead to problems when integrated into other network devices. Thus, companies should transform their IT policies and systems to support the changing WFH demands. While this requires in-depth planning, this presents an opportunity to shift our focus on a better cybersecurity strategy.
Establishing a better security blueprint
Given the challenges of remote working, companies should reassess WFH policies, architectures, and technologies. Reviewing governance and IT systems will identify which strategies will drive them to long-term business continuity.
They can start by reassessing their options for remote collaboration solutions, videoconferencing platforms, and other programs to support the WFH model. Companies should also consider the devices that secure home environments and improve employees’ security responses.
Another strategy is to address the gaps in security skill sets by focusing on hiring IT positions for security and infrastructure. This approach will help companies work with the right people to address the security challenges and demands of the remote workforce and tackle serious cybersecurity issues they have previously ignored.
The pandemic has shown us that cybercriminals have taken advantage of the economic crisis to deliver their attacks. Over time, these threats will cause serious vulnerabilities to business operations and bigger financial challenges. While the end of the pandemic is still not in sight, we should use this opportunity to build stronger resilience and establish an organization that is swift to act on these cyber threats.