Cybersecurity challenges on the rise in the wake of COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis is forcing organizations to rethink their approach to network security as new working patterns drive up security risks, a major analyst has advised.

Rajesh Muru, Principal Analyst with GlobalData, also said that cybersecurity vendors are having to rethink their service and support functions to encompass new working methods, sometimes facing internal operational challenges in scaling up quickly with the right level of security posture.

“COVID-19 has created shutdowns and major disruptions in employee working styles and supply chains in all sectors, and in particular across government, finance, manufacturing, IT, and media,” said Muru. “As these sectors reconfigure their operations, one of the most critical issues arising is an increase in cyber-attack threats as organizations become more dependent on technology.”

Muru said that GlobalData has been engaging with a number of organizations to establish what their strategic operational initiatives are in order to address the effects of COVID-19 and the role cybersecurity plays. Some of the initiatives he has seen organizations deploy include:

  • Realignment and prioritization of IT programs – particularly in sectors like IT, health, and retail, with a particular focus on more tactical short-term solutions
  • A shift to remote working and providing adequate security measures
  • Minimizing disruptions to supply chains and ensuring credible cloud security measures are in place as greater pressure is placed on accessing data outside the enterprise network
  • Ensuring business continuity particularly in sectors like healthcare and retail food chains, where monitoring shadow IT and providing security on cloud IT environments are required

“In light of COVID-19, the majority of cybersecurity vendors are emphasizing that enterprises put in place adequate security measures and policies that address malicious campaigns, including email spam, malware attacks particularly with remote working, ransomware and malicious domains, and network protection to prevent embedded malware attacks that deploy social engineering tactics that infect corporate networks,” he added. “In particular, cybersecurity vendors including CrowdStrike, Palo Alto Networks, Check Point, and McAfee are prioritizing their marketing effort around remote access VPN monitoring, endpoint threat prevention, mobile security and secure workplace, and cloud and device security.”

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