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Holistic view on cyber risk in the pandemic era

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures

COVID-19 recently created a disrupted environment for many public and private organisations across the globe. Many businesses were forced to reinvent themselves and adapt their way of working to a new reality. One challenge is that the security and continuity of IT infrastructure and services are more critical than ever as the dependency on digital tools has significantly increased over the last few weeks. This disrupted landscape calls for a review of existing security and privacy measures.

Proliferation of threats on remote workers and communication platforms

By encouraging people to work from home as much as possible, the life of many has changed. The changed work environment not only caused new social challenges for employees, but also a need for organisations to stay in control of cyber risks as communication and information sharing currently mainly relies on digital tools and platforms. Using the home network for professional purposes and the blurring line between personal and professional use of corporate devices are two examples of the many scenarios, which businesses need to take into consideration when reviewing their existing privacy and security measures.

What does this mean for your organisation?

The migration of employees from the corporate office to the home office introduces some short and long-term challenges for organisations. In the short term, for example, this pandemic created the opportunity for malicious actors to exploit vulnerabilities and take advantage of disinformation and fears around the pandemic. In the long term, organisations may be forced to perform employment shifts and workforce reorganisations, which may lead to disgruntled employees and inadvertent insider threats. These are only a few examples. Organisations should be aware of these threats and consider them carefully when taking important business decisions during and after these peculiar times.

What can you do to mitigate these risks?

It is clear that organisations need to reprioritize their cybersecurity strategy and take action to boost cyber defences. Business-critical processes may require urgent attention, but organisations should also prioritize cyber risk in order to ensure that they can lead resilient businesses in the future, once the pandemic chaos has settled.

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