The World Economic Forum's Global Risk Report for 2021 placed cybersecurity failure among the greatest threats facing humanity within the next ten years. Clearly, in this climate, and since many jumped into the world of cyber operations without adequate preparation, cybersecurity is now a critical priority.
Hybrid work is emerging as a norm, especially for companies who have a mix of workers whose job requires coming into the office, and those who are able to accomplish their work at home. This hybrid workforce is expected to become more prevalent as 75% of workers want to retain flexibility over their schedule beyond the pandemic. To get some insight into how security executives executives can implement consistent security practices for the new hybrid workforce environment, we spoke to Michael Borromeo, Vice President, Data Protection at Stericycle, the provider of Shred-it information security services.
2020 and COVID-19 taught us a few things in the security industry: the importance of security awareness, speed of deployment is not always a good thing, and assuming new levels of risk such as “remote work force”. With so many challenges still on the horizon, here are some of the key topics to have on top of mind:
An example of how businesses are benefitting from integrated cloud-based systems would be in the retail industry. Retail end users have integrated their security camera network, heat-mapping and video analytics technology with a cloud-based system so they can remotely monitor who is in their store. The heat-mapping and analytics technology also showcases where customers are spending the most time in their store, providing retailers with insight as to where they can place specific item displays or promotional items. This information can also be used to inform on if a specific location in a store needs additional signage to encourage social distancing, or even if it needs increased camera coverage within a store. The practical applications of integrated cloud-based systems and other security technology are nearly endless.
Virtual platforms are a great tool to bring people together. And at least initially, virtual backgrounds were fun. Many of us used virtual backgrounds to redecorate our homes, try out new styles and show off some of our personal interests. But the trend now seems to be shifting. My experience is that people are now increasingly using real backgrounds for virtual meetings. Both virtual and actual backgrounds are acceptable during online meetings. However, there are at least four important things that work-from-home warriors should consider when choosing to share their real backgrounds given that many of us are still working from home offices.
While it might not feel like it right now, the kind of root-and-branch assessment of cybersecurity budgets necessitated by the pandemic might, overall, be a positive development. Many firms haven't looked at their budgets and the assumptions they are based on for many years. This review has been long overdue.
Just as you would imagine based on its name, Zero Trust requires authentication of each touchpoint connecting to an organization’s network, aiming to transform it into an impenetrable fortress. Regardless of its benefits, even Zero Trust has its limitations and can create friction unnecessarily, which could have a lasting effect on employee productivity and an overextension of security resources. Are there any alternatives? Is there another remedy that can provide a similar level of security as Zero Trust without the friction? Zero Trust 2.0 is the answer.
Many organizations are planning to continue with remote work until at least late spring 2021 while others will continue to migrate to a distributed workforce as part of their long-term business plans. With all of this in mind, a quick look at the cybersecurity, privacy, and compliance Magic 8 Ball indicates that “all signs point to yes” for continued attacks and digital transformation.
While the rough seas may be behind businesses, now is not the time to rest. It’s important for security leaders to remain diligent about their company’s security posture and adapt to the latest state of the world. Focusing on people, processes, and technology is not only the foundation to a solid cybersecurity strategy, but also absolutely critical at a time where workers have never been further from security teams’ protection.
Is your company’s cybersecurity policy as effective as it should be amid these tumultuous times? And if you’re not an employee but the owner of a small business – typically someone with much less sophisticated cybersecurity protection – how does your online security stack up? The answer: Cybersecurity has improved, but markedly more has to be done to secure networks in 2021, the second year of the pandemic, as the number of cyberattacks has become staggering.