Cybersecurity: Has COVID-19 changed it for good?
COVID-19 has definitely given cybersecurity a new meaning & changed the way we approached & thought about it forever. More than 6 months into the pandemic, the shockwaves induced by the pandemic have touched almost every person on the planet. Within a blink of an eye organizations & the people dependent on it have faced a monumental transformation, just to function normally. No matter when a process or a function goes digital, it opens up possibilities of cybersecurity vulnerability since so many systems are being implemented at a very rapid pace. Cybersecurity is considered as a core technology to keep companies secure as they consider to go online & virtual. With the emergence & evolution of deep tech such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Block Chain, the need to invest in cybersecurity is more prominent than ever before. A solid investment in cybersecurity will be the key differentiator for companies offering such services.
Cybersecurity | An Essential Expertise In The Age of COVID-19
Security teams have been handed a difficult task of adjusting to new paradigms, which means innovating & implementing different approaches to tackle triage of threats & at the same time simplify tools & processes - rapidly. Even after the COVID cloud clears, experts predict 20-30 percent of employees will continue to work from home. This means there would be an array of implications on a broader spectrum. Influencing corporate communication, reporting structures and team building activities to name a few. But the most concerning implications for companies are from remote workers who are exposed to a widened set of cyber risks. To further to combat these threats, it’s imperative that companies:
- Bring in cyber expertise. Not just broadly but they need to be implemented on a functional level in par with areas such as HR & finance. It’s necessary to make cybersecurity an everyday component of the company’s business strategy.
- Handover responsibilities to a C-level expert. The appointment of a Chief Information Security Officer can go a long way in proactive and enterprise-wide risk mitigation with a cross-functional authority.
- Cyber awareness across organizations. Cyber risk has both technological and human components, and hence spreading awareness about the potential threats across the organization and mitigating responsibilities can go a long way in effectively tackling cyber threats.
These enhanced risks are a definite hint of surge in demand for cyber talent. The need for executives with backgrounds in computer science, security, and IT have seen an exponential increase in the past few months.
Confronting The Risk | The Demand For Cyber Experts
Companies' actions to maintain business continuity and protect remote workers have ramifications for cyber security providers over the 12 to 18 months (the time that CISOs estimate it will take for security organizations to reach the next normal). Plans for permanent remote work, phased reopening, and limited interaction with non-essential visitors will boost interest in some cybersecurity products.
According to a joint study by PwC India and DSCI, the cyber security market in India will grow from $1.97 billion in 2019 to $3.05 billion by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.3%. The study also stated that Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI), IT, and Government are the top three sectors with the largest market share in cyber security expenditure in the country. With this explosion in demand for cyber security has led to an increase in open positions. This demand can be particularly witnessed in Big Four consulting companies and the IT services companies catering to the BFSI sector.
This also implies that the work done by cyber security specialists will be radically different. Considering the work-from-home models, the professionals will be responsible for endpoints detection which were earlier restricted to just antivirus or anti-malware solutions. Now all the endpoints operating from various houses will become targets. This subsequent shift will likely redefine the nature of IT security and how it’s viewed during the pandemic.
While all is said and done, the new has become the normal which has interwoven the need of cyber security in our professional lives even more strongly, one way or another. Hence it’s imperative that we:
- Practice best cyber security practices
- Increase our awareness around cyber threats
- Increase the use of cloud to change security
- Organizations need to adapt to a Zero Trust network security model
- An overall healthier digital lifestyle