This is a summary of an article written for CNBC by Phil Quade, CISO at Fortinet. The entire article can be accessed here.
The coronavirus pandemic has presented us with a unique, double-pronged view of change. It is both reshaping and redefining how business gets done, enabled by the trajectory of digital transformation that began long before COVID-19 forced organizations to rethink their strategies for the purpose of business continuity. This has been most notably demonstrated by the sudden and rapid shift to telecommuting, a concept that has become quintessential to 2020.
Although it may not be perceived as the “electronic Pearl Harbor” (a 90s-era term signifying a high-impact cybersecurity event) that helps marshal businesses to revolutionize how we architect the security of networks, the expansion of the remote workforce could be the catalyst for change that leads us to a more advanced position. In these difficult times, our intensified focus on cybersecurity stands out as an upside to the pandemic.
Before the pandemic, some organizations had already begun to adjust their security strategies to enable a shift to remote work. While they may have not foreseen this current crisis, their understanding of the need for an effective business continuity plan, and the inevitable changes being brought about by digital innovation led them to rethink what networks and a digital workforce look like in the 21st century.
This included bolstering the network edge, something which has faced increased risk ever since the prioritization of mobility, IoT, and 5G. For these prescient organizations, the foundation was already in place to meet the challenges of the distributed workforce being faced today. But for those that did not, it took a large-scale event to realize that the nature of work has already been fundamentally redefined, and that the great shift is happening now, not later.
While this transition certainly presents some new risks, they should not serve as a roadblock. Instead, they should also inspire a new vision for cybersecurity that accelerates the pivot to this new paradigm. This shift is essential. By failing to seize the moment now, organizations could negatively affect their future cybersecurity posture, along with their ability to compete in the digital marketplace, without even realizing it.
Below are a few of the measures that companies should take to help them adapt and grow amid this shift.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges for organizations, but amidst the disruption many have found new ways to conduct business while protecting their remote workforce. The best practices listed above encompass this shift, prioritizing an investment in employees, business processes, and the architectures that will be relied upon for sustained growth and success. But as your company works to adjust to this new normal, keep in mind the chief message of these events: the future is now, not tomorrow.
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