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July 22nd, 2020
Cybersecurity Considerations for Business Leaders Navigating COVID-19 Disruptions
By:-

The COVID 19 pandemic has affected the entire world severely, and almost all the businesses have come to a standstill. It has become necessary to use the digital technologies in the firms so that the loss faced by the companies can be overcome rapidly. All businesses need to realign their priorities and rework on their short-term as well as long-term strategies to maintain the continuity. They are getting inclined more towards virtual communication as the only way to resume their operation, which has consequently added responsibilities to the IT teams to provide the full support and take care of the cyber securities issues. In this article, I will discuss the various CyberSecurity solutions that businesses are encountering due to the transition into remote work amid COVID-19.

The business should focus on addressing Cyber Threats

Companies have to rethink their strategies so that they can transition their businesses totally into the digital arena. Below are some of the key considerations that companies should think about:

Most of the companies worldwide have started following the concept of digital transformation to combat the effects of COVID-19 on businesses. CIOs of the companies are responsible for finding out whether companies can manage the workload while employees are working from home or not.

Almost all sectors, including education, banking, and IT, where working remotely was never an option, are now allowing their workers to work from their homes. They are using digital technologies to get in touch with their employees as well as clients and keep them engaged.

Transition to digital technology has reduced the operating expenses of the companies and the extra workloads that they receive. Cloud technology is playing a significant role to help companies in making this transition.

It is because of Cloud technologies only that team members can share the documents, access the database, and work together with other team members. It has become the need of the hour that companies should realize the importance of digitalization; otherwise, their competitors, who have openly welcomed digital transformation, can replace them quickly.

Ensure Contingency Planning Addresses Adequacy of Staffing for Important CyberSecurity Functions

The COVID-19 disease is very unpredictable, which is affecting people of every age group and can affect anyone in the organization. Therefore, Organizations need to plan for the business continuity combating such situations. Organizations should focus on both implementing CyberSecurity solutions in business and tackle the situation to handle the work in case any employee gets ill. The business leaders in the organization should see if they have the trained resource, who can backfill the position of a person who suffered from Corona. For this, they can prepare their staff by cross-training and making the backups ready to deal with such an unpredictable situation.

Enforce Cybersecurity Controls in Remote Work Solutions

Most of the large scale companies are already supporting the remote work with the help of MDM solutions that allows them to manage and secure the devices provided to staff, Multi-Factor Authentication(MFA), and VPN solutions. They should also focus on the security perspectives of implemented remote work solutions by evaluating the security of VPN solutions, and DLP solutions by implementing conditional access, authentication, and authorization. However, the small scale companies should focus on adopting these things according to their budgets and available assets.

Key considerations that all organizations should focus on:

Organizations should consider the following practices for Cybersecurity solutions to avoid the issue of cyber-attacks:

  • Make sure that all the devices, network infrastructure, and VPNs used in the organization are as per the latest security updates and patches.
  • Check if the MFA has been implemented for all VPN connections.
  • It should be checked that the VPN latency time is acceptable in case of mass usage.
  • Make sure that the staff allocated for providing cybersecurity solutions and handling technology-related issues can detect the incidents and attacks using log reviews and send a response accordingly for the recovery.
  • Make sure that access management control is implemented correctly on work from home scenarios to restrict access on home networks.
  • Make sure that companies have imposed restrictions on the access of specific URLs, especially phishing and malware websites so that employees cannot open those websites when working remotely.

Promote Security Awareness

Awareness about Cybersecurity solutions is vital for all organizations that are implementing to support remote work for their workforce. Employees should also realize the different security issues as discussed below:

  • Best practices for using complex passwords.
  • Best practices for admissible usage of technology provided by the employer.
  • Best practices for maintaining unused devices.
  • The risks related to the usage of public Wi-Fi, especially the ones having a man in the middle that can act as malware to the corporate information.
  • The security of policies, data, and critical organizational assets.
  • Necessary instructions for employees, when a private Wi-Fi is not available, such as rejecting the insecure certificates, staying away from downloading organizational information, or rather preferring the mobile hotspot.
  • Increase in social engineering, phishing activity, and other COVID19 related themes.

Protect Organizational Data During Workforce Changes

It becomes the responsibility of IT staff to protect the data of the organization while providing efficient communication between the employees working from home. This is of utmost importance as incidences of the data breach and threat to the data are increasing, especially when using VPN and cloud technologies for remote work access. Also, there is a change in the workforce during this pandemic, so protection of the sensitive information, prevention of unauthorized access are also very significant for protecting the Organizational data in addition to the CyberSecurity solutions. Below are some of the workforce reduction-related issues that companies should focus on:

  • Organizations should check that there is the implementation of centralized solutions to control the access management solutions to revoke the access of accounts of terminated employees.
  • Make sure that the data loss prevention measures implemented get tested to validate if they are working as designed.
  • Organizations should review user access after workstation reduction to make sure that employees have no excessive privileges with the role changes.

Conclusion

Surely, COVID-19 has brought all the businesses to a halt, and all the companies are trying the transition to digitalization by making use of Cloud technology so that their employees can work remotely. But, the use of Cloud technologies and VPNs for remote access has increased the risk of cyber-attacks. The impact of COVID-19 is unpredictable and can vary from organization to organization. Still, it is significant that organizations should focus on the implementation of cybersecurity solutions so that they can secure their confidential and internal information and combat the risk of the current situation.


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