CYBER SECURITY MONTH: “Well Who Would’ve Seen That Coming?”…

WOW! – what at one point we all considered edge conditions are now firmly embedded in the core of our everyday lives. Global pandemics and remote working were not unheard of, or unconceived, yet like most black swan events it wasn’t really thought of as likely. That’s changed.

Today we are all adjusting to the new economy and ways of working. Ideas that seemed remote and confined to the tech community are suddenly mainstream; remote working and video conferencing being the most obvious two.

Within that, we learned the fringe discussions about firewalls and intruder detection and prevention actually have solid foundations, and are vital, (we never expected the random strangers joining Zoom calls, but it happened), not just in our corporate lives, yet across the spectrum, and, as we plan out the closing of what has been a very strange year, looking ahead to 2021 it is clear that to some degree or other the remote working and distributed nature of our teams and colleagues is going to continue.

Across regions, national and international borders, from laptops to smartphones, tablets to kiosks, our corporate and personal data will be transferred at the speed of light globally; even more data as 5G rolls out.  We need to adopt and renew the basics for sure – good password discipline is only the beginning. Firewalls may be a term your staff know, yet how many consider data loss prevention as part of their remit, or understand how it relates to share price?

As we move into the world of the extended campus, with teams separated and accessing critical IP from anywhere, it is no longer just the role of the IT department to deploy cyber security – it is everyone’s responsibility to deploy and use cyber security. That starts with awareness and training, the technology, and then the support of our people. Key fobs, private keys, secure access cards or tokens, all have a part to play, yet if you fail to explain what and why correctly you’re only doing half the task.

As major manufactures such as Cisco begin to end-of-life some of their older appliances, it’s a good opportunity for companies to refresh and renew kit. It’s also a perfect time to look wider, and to refresh cyber security strategy and policies, training and education. Take the opportunity to equip the company and the employees with state-of-the-art tools, awareness and best practice. Cyber security no longer lives in the datacentre, it is part of what we do everywhere we do it. Cyber security affects the bottom line of your business, that of your customers, suppliers and your own employees and contractors.

Investment in Cyber security has often been seen as an “insurance policy”, yet one that is brand impacting – today compliance is huge, threat vectors multiple, work practices changing and the potential for exploits growing. Return on those investments are clear and the risk mitigation calculable.

Your Cybersecurity Strategy Roadmap could be a critical corporate document going forwards – today is perfect to review and renew yours.