Last year, suspected Russian hackers gained entry into US networks by getting more than 18,000 private and government users to download a tainted software update. Once inside, they were able to monitor internal emails at some of the top agencies in the US.
As we enter 2021, security remains a key concern for businesses, especially those employing remote workers. Businesses must continue to stay several steps ahead of the bad guys in order to protect their data, customers, and employees.
To that end, Check Point Software Technologies conducted a survey on cyber security challenges and priorities over the next two years. More than half of respondents said that their organizations have experienced more threats and outright attacks over the past year than before. Only one in five stated that their security measures have returned to pre-pandemic standards, with the rest reporting that they don’t believe security will return to “normal.”
The survey of more than 600 global IT security professionals found that:
- Security for remote workers is the leading challenge reported, followed by preventing phishing attacks, preventing social engineering attacks, maintaining secure remote access, and safeguarding cloud applications and infrastructure
- Leading priorities for the next two years include securing remote work, securing clouds, and endpoint and mobile security measures
- For most, security strategies changed rapidly over the second half of 2020, on an emergency basis
Clearly, the “new normal” of security is here to stay. Yet, many companies are struggling to catch up. For the next two years, priorities should focus on:
- Employment of real-time prevention to protect networks and data against threats
- Continuous checks of security measures are imperative; it’s not a one-and-done proposition
- Cloud applications should be prioritized for security examinations and increased scrutiny, due to their high level of vulnerability
Data security is critical; it merits attention at the board level. Rapid changes to each organization’s infrastructure, along with a unified management strategy, will drastically increase the effectiveness of security measures. Companies should take action now to closely monitor the changing nature of both cyber attacks and employee work environments for the next few years.