COVID drives cybersecurity revolution

A wide ranging study has found 85% of US and UK employers have revealed they were forced to adopt new cybersecurity measures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to remote work.

Global data and endpoint protection company SecureAge Technology, questioned  600 employers from around the US and UK as part of its 2021 COVID & Cybersecurity Study.

“The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changed the way that we work today,” said Jerry Ray, COO, SecureAge Technology. “And while many businesses have done well to adapt to remote work environments, unfortunately, many are still grappling with the learning curve and nuances of how to effectively secure them. This research aims to shine a light on how employers are tackling some of these emerging cybersecurity challenges, as well as on the pain points and hurdles that remain in their way.”

With 85% of employers forced to adopt new cybersecurity measures Ray said he believed the research highlighted the failings which were evident to experts prior to the pandemic

“These findings show how jarring the move to remote work was for everyone in the business world,” said Ray. “Moreover, these findings illustrate just how narrow and limited the cybersecurity strategies being deployed by many businesses before the pandemic truly were. Building effective cybersecurity defences requires a robust, forward-thinking strategy that gives businesses the peace of mind that they are ready for whatever threats may lay ahead. From these findings, many businesses clearly did not feel they had these kinds of defences in place before the pandemic hit and were forced to scramble.”

According to the research, of the respondents who claimed that they adopted new cybersecurity defences, both US (41%) and UK (38%) businesses noted that “technical implementation challenges” were the primary hurdle in getting their new COVID-driven cybersecurity protocols and strategies in place.

“Tools have been proven to be incredibly effective in defending against cybercrime. However, it’s clear that technical challenges related to installing and configuring them properly are holding back success,” said Ray. “Of course, cybersecurity is a complex business and, as an industry, we need to find ways to make the onboarding process easier for everyone.”

When asked what types of tools they had implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 60% of US and UK business said that they had adopted cloud-based cybersecurity solutions, while 45% said they had embraced file level encryption and 41% said that they had installed full disk encryption as a way to bolster their cybersecurity infrastructure.

“Modern cybersecurity depends on agility and sophisticated tech,” said Ray. “Therefore, it’s no surprise that businesses are adopting tools that equip them with the ability to both respond to new threats on the fly and to lock down all the sensitive data they have. After all, nothing frustrates a cybercriminal more than agile cyber defences and useless, encrypted data they might have accessed.”

According to the research, of the respondents who claimed that they adopted new cybersecurity defences, both US (41%) and UK (38%) businesses noted that “technical implementation challenges” were the primary hurdle in getting their new COVID-driven cybersecurity protocols and strategies in place.

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