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How the Pandemic Changed the Future of Cybersecurity

December 09, 2020
EMAIL AND TECHNOLOGY

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted frailties and flaws in many cybersecurity defense systems. While security and IT leaders across U.S. businesses have had cybersecurity as a top priority for many years, the virus has prompted many to refocus their attention on this area. Pandemic cybersecurity has become a hot topic largely because the shift to remote work has been one of the dominating effects of the health crisis. Millions of Americans previously worked in office buildings and other settings that had tight cybersecurity protocols - now they are logging on to work platforms, accessing work email and other systems from home. Without a smart, proactive plan for tackling cybersecurity during coronavirus, they could be exposing the safety and privacy of their company and its data.

Risks of Remote Work

The potential for becoming victims of cybersecurity crimes grows as companies seek to give workers the tools they need from home. Organizations have to move quickly and with agility as they roll out collaboration platforms, document-sharing strategies, and communication systems to keep their workforces productive and engaged during this shift to remote work. Workers also have more autonomy without IT having direct, on-site oversight of their digital footprints, so they could be connecting to unsafe WiFi networks or downloading questionable materials that could put cybersecurity in jeopardy.

 Putting Personal Data at Risk

While pandemic cybersecurity is becoming a priority for businesses, individuals are also being impacted. Americans have spent significantly more time at home—and online—in the last few months, conducting work, homeschooling their kids, shopping, banking, and more all on their home computers and mobile devices. That supply has driven up demand among cybercriminals, who are capitalizing on internet users’ reliance on digital.

The Changing Cybersecurity Landscape

The risks are real. According to a recent study on cybersecurity during coronavirus, more than half of security leaders surveyed reported an increase in phishing attacks since the start of the pandemic.  As a result, top cybersecurity business leaders in the U.S. have been taking steps such as:

 

  • rolling out endpoint device protections
  • new multi-factor authentication strategies
  • anti-phishing tools
  • VPNs
  • end-user security education

 

One silver lining during the pandemic is that the increase in attacks has helped business leaders address and fix security gaps, which will benefit companies and their workers long term. Cybersecurity resilience, in which security leaders are constantly evaluating and reevaluating risks and creating solutions, has become a priority. This trend that will yield significant, long-term results for those looking to protect their security and privacy.

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