The onset of COVID-19 has created challenges for businesses globally. With companies having to transition remotely, the information technology they have depended on, such as cloud systems, data centers, and digital devices, has also had to deal with skyrocketing demands.
There’s also a host of new threats that digital structures have to deal with thanks to remote-working setups. Cybercriminals, for one, are looking to cash in on the situation and have caused businesses to be faced with a security minefield.
With a plethora of companies having to upgrade their cybersecurity efforts and adapt to this scenario, it has shone a light on the importance of digital devices and networks. The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of cybersecurity and is shaping the industry in ways unlike any other.
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Improved user experience and productivity
When COVID-19 hit, many companies had to ensure that their employees were adequately equipped with the tools to work from home. This didn’t just mean VPNs; however, it also meant apps that promote collaboration, productivity, and inclusiveness for a positive remote working experience.
According to a study conducted by Microsoft, security business leaders have rated improving end-user experience and productivity as their top priority. To do so, companies have extended security policies for employees to utilize more apps at work.
One such security policy is enabling multi-factor authentication to insulate the organization against attacks and allow employees to use the apps they need.
The pandemic has brought about an increase in cyber attacks with cybercriminals using the heightened digital footprint and traffic to find vulnerabilities. From phishing emails to dropping malware, there’s plenty that cyber criminals have done to disrupt systems and steal credentials.
Companies have bolstered their security and ensured that their digital platforms and online services are resilient against cyberattacks to deal with these threats. Businesses have also started regularly evaluating their risk along with their ability to execute cybersecurity strategies.
Examples include companies using the cloud to plan out scenarios and understanding the importance of business continuity plans (BCP) and incident response plans (IRP). With that, organizations will be better prepared to deal with their employees working remotely in mass.
The importance of diverse datasets
As mentioned earlier, COVID-19 has become a breeding ground for cybercriminals. Phishing scams, for one, have significantly increased, and Google even detected 18 million malware and phishing messages per day that are related to COVID-19.
To tackle these cybersecurity threats, companies have used cloud-based tools and datasets to track daily threat signals. Microsoft, for one, was able to track more than eight trillion daily threat signals with both automated tools and human insights. These diverse datasets are critical in identifying new COVID-19-themed threats before they reach end-users.
As phishing attacks were reported to be less successful in organizations that were cloud-based as opposed to on-premises, more and more companies have been looking to adopt cloud-based security tools to support their remote workforces and reduce their risk of breaches.
With companies looking at the cloud as part of their security, it’s evident that it will become a crucial part of any business’s future cybersecurity investments.
Looking to the future
Due to the pandemic, companies have had to quickly confront their current cybersecurity infrastructure and make the necessary tweaks and improvements. While this might have been a knee-jerk response, companies have also focused on deploying technologies and solutions to tide them through the years ahead.
Cloud-based security and platform services are one such technology that has gained prominence during the COVID-19 period, as it allows companies to increase the breadth and depth of their security and protection rapidly.
Other technologies include privileged access management (PAM) services and multi-factor authentication services. By building a robust cybersecurity infrastructure, companies will be better equipped to deal with cybersecurity threats and any other unexpected situations that may occur in the future.
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