Organizations worldwide faced the serious dilemma of how to address cybersecurity concerns when 80% of employees are working from home. The valuable insights from the leading CXOs about endpoint security during the COVID19 pandemic period give a glimpse of what the future may hold for the industry.
“First priority when the pandemic hit was to protect the health and safety of our employees, yet still maintain an ‘always on business’ for our customers. At MobileIron, we quickly enabled our employees around the world to work remotely. We also made it as easy as possible for our customers to issue more corporate-owned devices or enable a BYOD program to keep their employees secure and connected – whether they were working on the frontlines or at home. And we continued to innovate to meet the changing security needs of our customers and communities.
Overall, the pandemic has crammed years' worth of change into a few short months and it will have long-lasting effects on how, when, and where we work in the future. Work in the future will be very different to work in the past, which will present leaders with some challenges. However, it will also offer some significant opportunities to overhaul working practices and support employees who work from home with better collaboration and more intuitive access. The "Everywhere Enterprise" is not a passing phase, it's the current reality and will continue to grow and expand as workers find new ways to be productive from anywhere”.
- Simon Biddiscombe, CEO of MobileIron.
The alpha level analysis of AllTheResearch.com states that 73% of organizations find endpoint security as their number one pain point, especially for remotely working employees. Provisioning remote workers with necessary devices/equipment and VPNs was quite the challenge for many organizations, which compelled employees to manage these needs by themselves. This has caused noticeable inconsistency across the organization and has left loopholes in security. Major sectors reporting major cybersecurity attacks include the financial sector, telecom sector, and health & life sciences.
COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the perception organizations had about endpoint security. Now that BYOD has become a necessity rather than just an emerging trend, organizations have started to take security concerns more seriously than ever. Companies need more coverage of the endpoints that are working remotely. With the continuation of social distancing in 2021, companies will move away from shared/networked computers towards supporting employees on their personal devices.
As per the survey by AlltheResearch.com, around 33% of enterprises proclaimed that provisioning remotely operating devices and VPNs was a key challenge for them, while 43% experienced cyberattacks. This will require consistent authentication practices that support in-office as well as remotely working employees. Multi-factor authentication is expected to be one of the most trending modes of endpoint security in near future.
Security services providers need to address these extended necessities of the organizations and will need to revaluate their network security protocols, consider mobile device management, and maintain an effective data protection strategy on endpoints to ensure their clients an optimum safety.
2021 will see more focus on the zero trust security model wherein an employee will be authenticated and validated before being given any access to any application and the right level of data. It provides continuous checks on whetheran employee needs access to sensitive data at that time. For instance, in February 2020 Blackberry introduced a Unified Endpoint Security (UES) layer within the Spark platform to leverage machine learning, AI, and automation to deliver zero trust security to all mobile as well as auto-fixed endpoints.
The rise of connected devices, high internet penetration, and rapid digitization especially in the Asia Pacificregion across multiple sectors including finance, healthcare, education, logistics, etc. have led to an increase of threats from cyber-attacks which can result in a monetary loss as well as the loss of sensitivedata.
For instance, Indiawitnessed a 37% rise in cyberattacks in the first quarter of 2020. Major factors contributing to this rise include fragmented & unorganized cybersecurity structure, outdated systems & processes, digital adoption in ashort span of time, and limited understanding or deployment of cybersecurity measures. Another challenge organizations face is by adopting cloud deployments.
Larger players such as Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud are investing heavily in cloud security; whilst smaller, independent third-party cloud services providers are skeptical towards investing in cloud security. This puts organizations vulnerable to threats including account hijacking, data breach, malware, DDOS attacks.
While there are various causes that have raised concerns for endpoint security including the COVID19 effect, cloud deployments, BYOD trend, etc.; an efficient and strategic cybersecurity infrastructure is a key to prevent such threats to protect governments, businesses, as well as individuals from monetary loss as well as the loss of sensitive data. Investing in advanced and robust cybersecurity offering end to end security ecosystem for devices as well as networks to make data back-ups reliable and to have a resilient multifactor authentication mechanism can help the organizations to strengthen their security measures. On a larger scale creating awareness about the need for endpoint security and building a robust legal framework are key pointers that can help organizations sustain through cyberattacks.
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