According to Google Trends, searches for “business continuity planning” skyrocketed on March 12, around the same time the US declared a national emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic forced this oft-overlooked back-office function into the spotlight, bringing along with it economic turmoil.
One third of small and medium businesses (SMBs) use free, consumer-grade cybersecurity tools, one fifth maintain no endpoint security, and 43 percent have no cybersecurity defence plans, placing their business-critical assets at risk.
This is a critical oversight. The economic fallout from COVID-19 is a stark reminder that SMBs make up the vast majority of the nation’s businesses at the local level. Small businesses comprise 99.9 percent of all businesses and employ nearly half of all workers.
It is clear that whilst efforts are being made to contain the coronavirus, there will be a long-term impact upon society, and therefore a long-term impact upon the cybersecurity industry also. So, having looked at what the short-term consequences could be, Infosecurity now assesses the longer-term impact, and where we could be by the end of 2020.
The move towards remote working will need to be reconsidered, as “education of users is key when looking to keep an organization safe” and while he didn’t believe that this will change too much, the focus of that education will probably be specific towards remote working.
The concept of the agile and remote worker has become more prevalent in recent years, as consumer Wi-Fi becomes more faster, we carry corporate laptops or BYOD-permitted smartphones, and realize we don’t all need access to a printer and fax machine. That’s been good preparation for the current COVID-19 lockdown, where remote working has moved from being something that you may do one day a week to something that is the new norm for many people.
A majority of cybersecurity professionals have said that their job functions have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with 90% now working remotely full-time.
According to a survey of 256 cybersecurity professionals by (ISC)2, 81% of respondents, all responsible for securing their organizations’ digital assets, indicated that their job function has changed during the pandemic. The survey, which was conducted this month, also found that 96% of respondents’ organizations have closed their physical work environments and moved to remote work-from-home policies for employees.
As of March 2020, everyone was asked to work from home where possible. This current shift in situation presents not only technological but also human factor challenges for information security. Organizations will have to tailor their awareness campaigns and training to target issues specific to working from home, confronting new security-based obstacles that their employees and clients might be facing.