In just a few months’ time, COVID-19 has completely altered the way we work. Businesses that are resistant to change or fail to adapt will struggle to thrive in this rapidly shifting landscape. Businesses that embrace change and absorb lessons along the way can successfully navigate the current and future state of work. In the second installment of our Future of Work series, Vice President of Product Management, Jamie Zajac, talks about the lessons COVID-19 has taught us and how our systems need to change to support our evolution.
How has COVID-19 changed cybersecurity and cyber resilience planning? What will be the most important steps to take moving forward?
As we attempt to return to some sense of normalcy, with the constant threat of a second wave looming, we can’t lose sight of our learnings. One big learning is to have a backup plan in place. Don’t just plan for a single scenario. Think about how you will respond – and how your systems will respond – when there is a big change such as a large portion of people working from home, an essential employee being unavailable or employees working while distracted. Make sure systems are accessible remotely and that they are properly secured to support this, with monitoring and threat blocking in place. And be sure to have a multi-layered cyber resilience plan rather than relying on a single layer of protection.
What could the future look like after the coronavirus? Specifically, what will change in IT and business?
Organizations will push rapidly to digitize, cloudify and increase accessibility. Now that we’ve seen how quickly we can shift to a remote workforce, we need to incorporate some of these learnings into our mainline practices. Having things in the cloud and accessible increases agility.
IT investments will shift in the coming months, what will take precedence for companies as they go back to ‘business as usual’?
Making things more accessible and collaborative online will be key. This includes supporting remote workers with equipment, applications, access and security. A lot of companies have had to make changes to their security posture, and many now allow things they previously blocked to support remote work. Now is the time to make sure that any changes are thoroughly vetted and properly secured. We can’t just turn everything off, but we want to incorporate learnings and make sure things are secure. For example, if you quickly rolled out Teams to support your remote workforce, make sure you have access-management policies, multi-factor authentication (MFA) and a backup strategy for the new data created.
What advice do you have for SMBs who will need time and a renewed economy to recover?
There is no doubt that small and midsize businesses (SMBs) have already faced enormous challenges from this pandemic. SMBs should really understand how their businesses will change in the new economy, with a focus on delivering value to customers.
For a step by step guide on how to improve business cyber resilience click here.