In addition to all of the demographic, economic, and healthcare implications brought on by COVID-19, the once-familiar 9-to-5 office environment as we know it has changed dramatically. Remote work, once expected to be the future, is now our new reality. Even though Gartner predicted that by 2020, half of the US workforce would be working remotely, no one could have anticipated it to become ubiquitous during the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, nearly everyone has been forced to work from home for the foreseeable future. Organizations have been seeing an increase in productivity from employees and have extended their work from home policies until the end of 2020, or even indefinitely.
Along with all of its benefits, remote work also brings a host of cyber security risks that are harder to tackle outside of the office. Additionally, with millions of people connecting to their corporate networks from their homes, network infrastructure is being taxed like never before, creating new issues of internet overload and skyrocketing VPN usage.
While the future remains uncertain, organizations are embracing the new normal, and now is the time for CISOs and IT managers to start thinking about how they will continue securing their teams while working remotely. Industry analyst Richard Stiennon and Perimeter 81 Co-founder and CEO Amit Bareket joined forces in early July for a webinar to discuss, review, and make predictions about the future of cyber security in the post-COVID-19 world.
Watch the webinar on-demand:
From your experience in security, what has changed dramatically over the past decade?
Stiennon, who has been in the industry for nearly 30 years, focused on the digital transformation which morphed into the cloud transformation and the use of SaaS services. Bareket added employee mobility to the security challenges that have developed over the past ten years and the need for security appliances to keep up with these trends.
How has COVID-19 changed the way we consume cyber and network security?
Stiennon kicked off the conversation with the fact that organizations that were unaccustomed to working remotely and did not have a solution for secure remote access were forced to move their entire workforce remote almost overnight and with zero preparation. Now that the urgency to find a solution for securing remote access has died down, organizations are focusing on long-term strategies for securing their remote workforce. Following with experience from Perimeter 81’s customers over the past few months, Bareket gave examples of organizations that may have previously been more “traditional” in their approach to security and cloud, that are now making the transformation. As COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of cloud and mobility, organizations are rethinking their security policies and strategies.
What do you think is the biggest pain in the cybersecurity space right now?
Bareket clearly sees the challenge as now that employees are working remotely/from home, organizations must open their infrastructure to be open to the outside and from unmanaged devices, compromising security. Stiennon added that security professionals have to break loose from their current mindset of “boxes” and change their vision to include the cloud. Additionally, now these professionals are charged with the responsibility of not only protecting resources but also protecting employees.
What do you think the future of security has in store over the next 2 years?
Stiennon believes that new threats that have come about from the age of remote work are adding to the revelation of new vulnerabilities and by this fall we will be seeing massive breaches announced, that are starting during this time period. On the flip side, we are also working more securely as more vendors are offering more security capabilities and organizations are consuming these services. From the vendor perspective, Bareket believes security services overall is moving away from on-prem to cloud-based and user-centric solutions. Additionally, various services will start joining together in order to unify under one platform in order for any business of any size to consume.
Which challenges and solutions will we be seeing in the near future?
Bareket discussed Gartner’s SASE (Secure Access Service Edge), the unification of security and infrastructure to be offered from the cloud edge. Stiennon added that the fact that government offices, law firms, medical practices, and the like (approximately 80% off all businesses and organizations) are all late adapters to new technologies and security software.
After a riveting discussion with predictions and surmisings, the panelists moved on to answer questions from the audience. If you were unable to tune in live but still would like to address questions to the speakers, feel free to reach out to us on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.