The impact of COVID-19 pandemic continues to reverberate. While the utmost priority for organizations is towards the health and safety of their employees, the need of the hour is to focus on business continuity. Due to social distancing and lockdown norms, every business has quickly adapted to the not-so-new work culture i.e. working remotely. Although this swift transition is helping businesses to manage the productivity of their employees and thereby, stay afloat, it has also created a myriad of challenges and repercussions.
One of the biggest hurdles organizations are facing right now is how to enable worker productivity from anywhere without compromising security. The sheer scale and magnitude of remote work culture has led to surge in the flow of mission critical data digitally, which itself has become a breeding ground for cybercriminals and hackers. In fact, large brands such as Cognizant and Unacademy, are already unfortunate victims of these malware attacks. As per the recent statistics, there has been 131% increase in the viruses targeted towards remote workers in the month of March itself. Moreover, as per another study, the number of cyber-attacks on the Indian companies in the past few weeks have also doubled.
With the data era already upon us, most organizations will become habitual to this new normal and this change will be fuelled by technology. However, for businesses to be in a better position to safeguard their data against external threats, they would need to keep data security at the core of all decisions. They would need to evolve their existing security policies and deploy robust preventive solutions. When the relationship between security and IT becomes continuous and reciprocal, the benefits will be extremely powerful. A few tips that will help organizations to bolster their security initiatives are:
- Incorporate security as an integrated part of your business strategy: The right approach to security should be one that is resilient, intelligent, and automated, with in-built security. Security needs to be connected to the people, processes and technologies behind your organization. The defined worker personas should inform security policies and enable end user productivity with the right access, via technology and solutions.
- Secure the full stack, from infrastructure to applications to operations: You need to architect for intrinsic security to ensure you simplify and orchestrate IT infrastructure and security policies so your data and IT assets are secure, protected and available. This includes password management policies, data classification rules, and using a secure VPN for remote network access. It is important to move your security controls to exist intrinsically in the system, attached to the data and the identities that are granted access.
- Enable secure collaboration and communication tools: These should be tools that can be used anywhere, anytime on any device, providing effective capabilities for conferencing and collaboration whether in the office, at home, or on the go.
- Equip your business with effective data management and backup solutions: Loss of critical data has the power to cripple any business in no time. Your businesses need to be well prepared to tackle external outrage or information loss. A data backup solution will not just minimize the effect of any cyber-attack, but will also ensure seamless business continuity.
During these daunting times where every organization is fixated on continuity of day-to-day operations, they somewhere fall short in covering the gaps created by remote working. The key to combat the prevailing threats is by covering up these checkpoints, which can be delivered by giving prime importance to security in the overall organizational policy. The investments that will be made by the organizations now, will reap the benefits in the future, helping them to achieve their future vision.