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Reassessing Security Vulnerabilities and Gaps After COVID

Written by: Kayla Matthews journalist & writer

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted a few areas of improvement in the business world. As the world's systems try to adapt to changing needs, their shortcomings become increasingly evident. One of these points that deserves reassessment amid the pandemic is cybersecurity.

As your business starts to pick up again, you already have a lot on your plate. Why should you worry about readdressing your cybersecurity on top of everything else you have to do? The virus outbreak may have changed a lot of things, but it hasn't reduced the need for cybersecurity.

If anything, ensuring you have reliable security is more critical now than ever. The World Health Organization (WHO) has experienced five times their typical cyberattack frequency since the start of the pandemic. Apart from the increasing amount of threats, you may have some new vulnerabilities to consider.

Working With New Tools and Services

During the pandemic, your company has likely adopted some new tools to help deal with the changing circumstances. While focusing on adapting to these services, you might have overlooked how they impact your security. You may have avoided some old weak points, but now have new ones you need to consider.

Take cloud computing, for example, which has seen a massive increase in adoption through the pandemic. In the rush to move everything onto the cloud, many businesses likely downplayed changing security needs. Cloud systems require a different approach to security, so these companies need to reassess their cybersecurity protocols.

You can start by taking the time to examine any new processes you've implemented for vulnerabilities. Penetration testing could prove useful in finding any weak points you should address. You can then start to restructure your security approach before going forward with the new system.

Remote Work Exposing New Threats

The virus outbreak has led to an unprecedented surge in working from home. Some restrictions are starting to lighten, but your company may still encourage employees to work remotely. Whether the whole company is remote or just a few employees, this shift towards remote work comes with some unique cybersecurity concerns.

Employees working from their personal devices may not have the same security tools as office equipment. Their home networks may also be less reliable than what you have at the office. Remote work doesn't have to be a security risk, but you need to ensure remote employees have access to proper cybersecurity.

Remote workers may use tools like VoIP, which you can secure through network encryption and regular system scans. If your business has the funds, you may consider providing remote employees with VPNs and anti-malware software. If nothing else, you should update workers about cybersecurity best practices as they work from home.

Distracted Employees

You're most likely aware of the role human error plays in data breaches. Some studies suggest that at least 34% of breaches are the result of insider threats. Amid all the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic, negligent online behavior could present an even more substantial risk.

The current global situation can be stressful, which can distract employees who would otherwise follow protocol. Even as you move back into a more typical work environment, workers may take a while to readjust. People may not be paying as much attention to cybersecurity, so you can benefit from some reassessment.

Users are your single largest point of vulnerability when it comes to cybersecurity. Given the confusing and distracting circumstances, you should reach out to re-emphasize your company's security protocols. You may also want to consider requiring all employees to undergo cybersecurity training, especially if they haven't already.

New Situations Reveal Security Shortcomings

Anytime your company undergoes significant changes, you can expect there to be some cybersecurity concerns. Some of these are new problems you wouldn't have encountered with the old system, while some have always been there, but are now more pressing. Regardless, the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic warrant a reassessment of your cybersecurity practices.

Given the changing circumstances and rising threats, you likely have new or newly-urgent security vulnerabilities. You may need to adopt new practices to address these, or you may only need to make a minute adjustment. No matter what, you should reevaluate your cybersecurity and look for these weak points, if just to be sure.


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