The COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted the business landscape beyond imagination. Right now, organizations are mainly relying on remote work and distant interactions to stay operational in the era of social distancing. Thankfully, there are several reliable technologies to enable the new model with ease. But with the advantages that these remote technologies deliver, there also comes the concern of growing cyber risks in the current situation. Although businesses were already struggling with these risks before COVID, they just got bigger in the new normal.
Pandemic or no pandemic, maintaining a strong security posture is vital for businesses of all sizes and scales. But it just got a tad more challenging for them now because the situation is unprecedented and the risks are unknown. They need to secure their networks while staying a step ahead of the sector and technology-specific regulations. Apart from this, there is much more to be done to ramp up business security. So it makes sense for them to understand the threats and realign their cybersecurity initiative in the new normal. If you are looking to rewrite cybersecurity rules for your business, here are some insights that can help.
Securing people working remotely
While remote work was already growing in popularity before the pandemic hit the world, there are still challenges that hinder the mainstream adoption of the model. The primary one relates to making your workforce comfortable with remote working in the long haul. While they may struggle with productivity-related challenges amid the distractions at home, security is an even bigger concern for businesses. After all, remote work opens the entire network to the risk of cyberattacks and there are threats for the confidential corporate data as well.
A larger chunk of the workforce is hardly aware of the best practices they need to follow to ensure the safety of data and networks as they work from home. Moreover, considering the stresses of the situation, security can easily be an afterthought for them. So it becomes important for organizations to implement stringent cybersecurity policies now and enforce them. They also need to train their people to ensure that they abide by the rules even while working from home. Establishing security as a part of the work culture is all the more important in the new normal, where remote operations are here to stay.
Monitoring networks and access
The pandemic struck out of the blue and a majority of organizations were in shambles because they had never stress-tested their systems for an unusual event like this. The situation has improved as businesses moved towards better solutions with the progression of the pandemic. But many of them continue to face security and availability challenges, with a large segment of people still working from home. As these employees use home WiFi networks, things get risky because these networks are unsecured, unmonitored, and overloaded.
The challenge is compounded by the fact that employees need to access sensitive information and corporate data to do their jobs remotely. These concerns are driving the future of cybersecurity for enterprises as they will need to go the extra mile for ensuring network security. Organizations in the new normal would require reliable and secure cloud management platforms that serve user-centric networks for companies of all sizes and scales.
Safeguarding devices and applications
Since businesses were pushed into an unknown territory suddenly, IT teams hardly had time to prepare for the sudden spike in remote workers. While some employees took home company devices, others had to rely on personal devices. This created a host of challenges regarding device safety, specifically for the companies that did not have a BYOD policy in place already. The challenges are still rampant and will continue in the post-pandemic era, as attackers look for device-specific vulnerabilities to gain a foothold.
Another significant aspect of cybersecurity in the new normal is the increased use of messaging and conference calling applications in work from home settings. Businesses need to find ways to keep people connected while ensuring that hackers are not able to compromise these apps. Going the extra mile with endpoint and application security can keep your business covered to a considerable extent. If you haven’t created a BYOD policy till now, you need to do it sooner rather than later.
Regulatory compliance is another aspect of cybersecurity that businesses cannot overlook. Many verticals have specific standards and regulations that businesses need to comply with. For example, following the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for ensuring customer data privacy is essential for businesses selling across the EU. Even as the pandemic triggered quick decision-making, businesses still need to operate with compliance in mind. Failing to do so can lead to fines and legal hassles, which is the last thing they would want right now.
Organizations need to stay one step ahead of regulatory compliance at all times. Knowing the ones applicable in your industry well enough is vital. There are also specific Cyber Security frameworks that organizations transaction online have to address. Things get even tougher because of the updates and changes in guidelines and rules across these regulations and frameworks because they keep changing from time to time. The best way to handle the situation is by having a reliable IT support partner that can help your organization stay compliant at all times.
Even as the security issues that businesses face at present are not new, they are more problematic than ever before. Moreover, the new normal is more than a temporary situation as it is expected to last much longer than what was initially thought. It becomes all the more vital for organizations to look for tangible cybersecurity solutions that curb the risks and keep companies safe from all kinds of threats and attacks. The best way to start is by being hyper-vigilant and enforcing strong cybersecurity practices at an organization-wide scale. At the same time, there is a need to plan for the long haul by redefining the new approach to handling risk across processes, people and technologies.