BERLIN – As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country, most organizations hit fast forward and made the quick transition to a remote workforce and to a more intense focus on serving customers through digital channels. This created a rapid surge in demand for digital capabilities, products, services, and much needed cybersecurity.
With that being said, the heightened digital response has identified many new security vulnerabilities. Attackers seek to exploit the gaps opened when telecommuting employees use insecure devices and networks. They are also being cited as using attack techniques to exploit people’s COVID-19-related fears. For example, Google tallied more than 18 million malware and phishing emails related to the coronavirus on its service each day in April. It also reported identifying more than a dozen government-backed groups using COVID-19 themes for these attempts.
In order to combat some of the biggest gaps in security coverage from the work from home (WFH) environment we need to investigate identifying them. Below are some of the biggest challenges and ways to strategically eliminate the security obstacle.
Static, network-based security perimeters will no longer be enough. The security dynamic among users, assets, and resources must be the new focus. Since IT teams can’t control which Wi-Fi networks people connect to at home or in public, they need to create security infrastructures that support each device so that employees can work safely on any network. This will enable companies to make moves like shifting to the cloud, so that employees can access the data they need, wherever they are. None of this is possible without the right technology.
Cloud-Based Tools, Infrastructure
When many companies made the switch to remote work, they continued to rely on VPNs while their employees worked on enterprise networks at home. This is a Band-Aid solution that won’t be financially or operationally sustainable in the long run. The need for greater agility and flexibility will accelerate the use of the cloud. The restriction of localized data storage for the remote workforce will transform end-user infrastructure with the increased adoption of virtual desktops.
Update Your Emergency Plans
If the current pandemic caught your company without a plan for how to support a remote workforce, you’re not alone. According to a survey by PulseSecure, it was found that nearly a third of companies were ill-prepared for working from home at the start of the pandemic.
As companies look to the future, IT leaders need to update their emergency plans to address emerging risks and end users’ needs. This means renewing your company’s commitment to securing individual devices and providing guidelines for long-term remote work.
As your company establishes new protocols, they must be recorded and communicated to your IT team and to end-users. Whether your staff is displaced due to extreme weather, a personal emergency, or a pandemic, it is critical that you have a plan to work remotely during these times. Without documentation, it will be difficult to communicate how you will promote cybersecurity within your remote workforce (and it will be even harder to launch a response, should an urgent threat emerge).
A New Way to Think About Security
For better security, now and in the future, IT teams must design their responses to support the company at the device level. This involves using the right mobile device management solution to monitor and prepare devices so that employees can work wherever they are. The move from perimeter-based security to this approach may not happen overnight, but with a cloud-based software solution, you can implement a new strategy as soon as it’s ready, no matter where your staff is located.