Businesses need to transform how they operate. Continuing to work as they did previously simply isn’t an option. When it comes to preserving the future viability of their organization, there are tough choices to be made.
Prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, businesses would sometimes consider investing in digitalization in order to improve their performance. At the same time, with many companies performing relatively strongly, investing in new ways of working would sometimes be viewed as an unnecessary upheaval, even if there were financial and operational benefits on the table.
That’s clearly no longer the case. Now, businesses recognize they have a stark choice between investing in digital solutions or risking their own survival.
The challenge for businesses is that overhauling the way they operate, investing in digital and adapting to increased remote working has introduced new levels of cybersecurity risk.
Changing Nature of Risk
With employees distracted while working from home and potentially working on personal devices, hackers were quick to exploit the new risk landscape. CISOs found themselves tasked with not only determining an initial response to the pandemic but also providing ongoing guidance during unprecedented conditions.
“Digital services are now being delivered on a global scale, while there’s an increase in the use of public cloud environments, as well as a greater number of digital devices. All of these things mean that the level of risk businesses need to deal with was already increasing prior to the pandemic,” says Alexandru Bertea, Chief Cybersecurity Strategist, Stefanini EMEA.
Given these new challenges, it’s not surprising that business leaders face some pressing cybersecurity concerns.
Information Leakage – Tackling the Problem
We conducted a survey on LinkedIn inviting professionals to share their main cybersecurity concerns. Our results showed that the leakage and loss of information and data were among the most pressing issues for businesses.
The majority of businesses need to store data and personally identifiable information (PII) in order to operate successfully. That means ensuring that they protect information to a standard that meets the expectations of their clients, shareholders and partners – as well as regulatory bodies.
“With the sensitive data many businesses store, it’s not a huge surprise that this represents a major cybersecurity concern. Falling short in this area doesn’t just mean financial loss as a result of the breach, but also potential fines from regulators alongside reputational damage should the breach result in media coverage,” adds Alexandru.
It’s clear businesses need to respond to the growing threats of industrial espionage and loss of intellectual property. A successful response relies on urgently determining what confidential information they are storing, whether the existing controls around this are sufficient and which data leak prevention tools will be suitable.
This will likely result in smart investment into a variety of tools and techniques aimed at minimizing vulnerabilities, while maintaining system integrity, defending assets and granting access only to approved entities, both human and machine.
Just as businesses couldn’t stand still when it came to investing in digital solutions in response to the pandemic, a very proactive shift in how cybersecurity is managed needs to take place to secure the future viability of organizations – during the pandemic and beyond.
This proactivity should involve working with teams of ethical hackers to test systems and identify vulnerabilities, ensuring these can be addressed before they are exploited by bad actors. It also relies on gaining insight into the very latest threat intelligence, which means being aware of new and emerging threats, including those on the deep and dark web.
Such steps will be key to securing information, data assets and trust – and should be as much a priority as investment into digital has proven over the last year.