Blog

Sep 9, 2020

The Importance of Data Protection During COVID-19

Adjusting to the new normal is a significant logistical undertaking that requires companies to take unprecedented steps to protect their people and property. It also creates new cybersecurity risks that threaten operational stability during an already disruptive time.

These threats are often invisible, but, when not addressed appropriately, can have devastating consequences. Not only are data breaches more expensive than ever before, but consumer sentiment and regulatory oversight have inextricably shifted toward data privacy and protection.

It’s important to understand the risks that accompany the new normal and provide access to adequate solutions.

Understand the Risks
Even before a hybrid workforce became the de-facto arrangement for many companies, cybersecurity and data privacy threats were already surging. 2019 was the worst year on record for data breaches, as billions of records were compromised, bringing severe financial consequences and reputational damage in their wake.

Unfortunately, bad actors are capitalizing on the uncertainty and vulnerability of this moment to wreak havoc on companies’ IT infrastructure. At the same time, remote workers are more vulnerable to many cybersecurity risks. To adjust to the new normal, businesses need to make real-time adjustments to their data security strategy.

During the pandemic, several threats have accelerated, including:

  • Phishing attacks. These malicious messages have increased in scale and effectiveness since businesses began quarantining in March. Hundreds of thousands of deceptive emails are sent each day, and some will undoubtedly make their way into your employees’ inboxes.
  • Credential stuffing. Bad actors use previously stolen information to log in to user accounts. This is especially problematic when employees work from unsecured connections.
  • Accidental data sharing and misuse. These vulnerabilities are magnified by a hybrid workforce with less accountability for digital behavior. Employees are more likely to use personal devices to access company data or transmit information in ways that compromise its integrity.

Overall, cybercrime has increased by 300% since the pandemic began, which helps explain why, despite shrinking budgets, many companies expect to increase spending on cybersecurity in the months and years ahead.

Making matters worse, remote workers are especially susceptible to fraud attempts and cybersecurity challenges, something that has only increased with the ancillary stress and unease the dominates during a pandemic.

Solutions that Work
Today’s companies need cybersecurity strategies that account for their remote and on-site workers. This includes:

  • Employee VPN Access. Remote workers may not use secure internet connections, potentially exposing your company to bad actors. VPN services allow employees to access company networks through secure protocols that protect your company and customer data.
  • Remote Security Management. While employees work remotely, physical office spaces still need to be secure. To this end, video, access control, intrusion detection, and intercom communication secure critical facilitates. When coupled with remote notifications, they provide peace-of-mind from any location.
  • Authentication & Encryption. Bad actors are continually looking for unsecured connections and other unencrypted data. This information is both easy to access and every easier to misuse.
  • Managed Detection & Response (MDR). For the many cybersecurity risks that threaten data security, managed detection and response capabilities ensure that you are always ready to respond.

Data threats are profound and expansive, but the right mix of cybersecurity solutions are available to ensure that your IT infrastructure is ready to meet the moment.

Conclusion
According to IBM’s annual Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average event will cost companies nearly $4 million, a substantial sum, especially during an already-challenging economic moment. At the same time, consumers continually indicate that they are ready to leave a company or platform if it endures a cybersecurity incident, making data protection a bottom-line issue for every business.

IST will evaluate your current environment, accounting for the emerging threats associated with a hybrid workforce, and we will provide solutions that ensure all employees can work cyber-secure. Our full lifecycle support through S.H.I.E.L.D allows you to get the most out of your cybersecurity budget by implementing proven steps to improve your defensive posture.

Don’t wait another day to update your defensive posture. Contact us today for a complimentary New Normal gap assessment and prepare your digital landscape for success.