Can Security enable business to be stronger after Covid-19?

The impacts of Covid-19 has changed all our lives, especially how organisations operate. As a result of these changes, now more than ever, C Suite executives are regularly discussing business continuity, security, resilience and safety.

The huge increase in remote working has opened up new attack vectors and workforce issues. The industry regularly talks about and endeavours to tackle / limit insider threats, which is now a larger threat than we have ever before.

During the pandemic we have stayed close to our industry and believe that now more than ever is an opportunity for security leaders to be key influencers within businesses. Security leaders can and will be the catalyst of change to keep their respective organisations secure, implementing new working practices and ensuring that their security strategy is adaptive to the new way of life.

We have learnt from our industry that organisations are facing new challenges, security needs to be agile and adaptive in order to meet these new demands.

  • Learn from the past, be prepared: Security must be ready and adapt to new priorities in organisations. Organisations are facing unprecedented demands on how they defend and recover from threats.

  • Cybercriminals: Another regular topic for security leaders, but there has been a huge increase in cybercrime during the Pandemic. As organisations reshape their supply chains, move more services online and have larger remote workforces – cybercriminals have taken advantage of these changes.

  • Future: Changing your ‘digital culture’ and ‘people culture’. Is your technology landscape fit for purpose? The working environment is changing which will require a transformation in processes, technology and people/culture.

    Organisations are now trying to stabilise. We all talk about getting back to ‘Business as normal’.....but is that possible? Will we ever ‘go back’ to business as usual?
    During this period of uncertainty, security leaders are the lynchpin by ensuring the right controls are in place to allow for a safe and secure working environment, be ‘business enablers’ and achieve business continuity.

    There are numerous key factors that will enable organisations to be successful moving forward and I’ve been speaking with security leaders about some key initiatives.

  • Back to the basics, the fundamentals of security....Network access, it is secure, its it up to date. Cyber Defence, protect the companies infrastructure and ensure that vulnerabilities are being tested and threat intel analysed.

  • Human Factor: I briefly touched on this earlier, a secure mind-set is key. Leaders should instil a security first mindset, employees need to be up to date on encryption, personal devices and policies and procedures. Insider threat is an increased risk for organisations now. But let’s not forget about empathy, people are dealing with the added stress of the change to their personal life /

circumstances, so technology and security should be enabling people to work

collaboratively and safely.
• Virtual and Cloud technologies – Secure work environments. There is a huge

amount of technology available that can enable our workforce to be remote. Secure Virtual desktop solutions, 2 factor authentication and EDR are all key. We have seen an increased demand in IAM and PAM solutions / skillsets as organisations are placing increased measures around access and management of users.

I am speaking to people more about ‘zero trust’, protecting remote access and using strong authentication. Zero trust models and adapting security to allow organisations a good experience and business continuity. There is an increased demand for technology leaders to enable fast, simple and secure remote access to applications, which is evident from the increased demand we are seeing for cloud based solutions.

It seems that to be successful moving forward organisations and security leaders need to be unified in these key areas. Instead of trying to go back to how things were and having technology and security suitable for the ‘past’, instead have it fit for purpose now and future proof. We have learnt from speaking to our network that security leaders need to build for resilience, business continuity and crisis management plans must be updated and fit for purpose. The landscape has changed: security leaders need to ensure that no matter the time or place – users, data and devices are secure.

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