Return to blog Man on phone sitting in front of computer, Cybersecurity, Ransomware Protection
September 3, 2020 | By stephen

Insights From Microsoft New Data Shows How The Coronavirus Is Accelerating Digital Transformation Of Cybersecurity

The early months of the coronavirus pandemic highlighted the value of cybersecurity in productive remote work. Today’s security solutions do more than detect threats. They provide access to corporate resources, fostering collaboration, and productivity.

Microsoft recently interviewed about 800 business leaders of top companies to make sense of the pandemic’s threat landscape. From financial implications to impact on staffing, they shared their sentiments of how cybersecurity will evolve in the wake of the pandemic.

The data indicated that phishing scams are significantly impacting businesses. We are also seeing companies increasing their hiring efforts and security budgets in response to coronavirus. Cloud-based technologies have also taken a predominant role in future tech investments – for obvious reasons.

Mitigating Threats

New threats and scams have kept IT security teams on their toes. Security leaders have reported the provision of uncompromised remote access to apps and tech resources as their number one challenge.

Before the pandemic, businesses banked on company-managed devices to secure their information technology networks. COVID-19, however, exposed these lines of defense as companies allowed remote access to different business apps.

Basic password authentication has also come under scrutiny with glaring limitations. Before the coronavirus, many institutions had invested in anti-phishing technology. Multi-factor authentication has since stood out as the leading security investment during the pandemic.

Cybercriminals made the most of pandemic themed lures to advanced malware and scams around early March. Phishing attacks were also on the rise during this period. These attacks were significantly higher among businesses with on-premises resources compared to those who worked from the cloud. 50% of business leaders reported that phishing emails ranked high on security risk behavior.

Budget Implications

Businesses reported increased budgets for security and compliance—58% and 65% of the interviewed business leaders. Budget pressure was considerably high for companies with resources mostly on-premises. These businesses are adopting integrated threat protection to reduce short-term expenses. Users can drive efficiency with security solutions coming with self-help options.

The best technology can only do so much when it comes to mitigating threats. Companies are strengthening their human security expertise to stand against cyberattacks – 80% of companies have hired new security professionals.

We expect the paradigm’s security to experience significant changes in response to accelerated digital transformation during the pandemic. Look out for the following long term cybersecurity changes:

  • Companies will base their digital empathy on security. Teams had to scale up virtual private networks to secure their remote work networks. They relied on inclusive end-user experiences to improve collaboration and productivity. Many businesses have adopted multi-factor authentication to facilitate this paradigm shift.
  • Threat Intelligence depends on diverse data sets. Cloud support helped Microsoft monitor 8 trillion daily threats from various feeds around the world. With cloud-based filters, human insights blended with automated tools to identify new risks before they reach clients.
  • Business operations rely on cyber resilience. More organizations have secured their remote work resources with advanced cybersecurity systems. Evaluating the risk threshold can help businesses maintain cyber resilience. With the cloud, they could also create comprehensive strategies with elaborate contingencies.
  • Zero Trust solutions have gained traction. We witnessed top business making Zero Trust a priority in the onset of the pandemic. More business leaders (51%) have accelerated the adoption of these tech capabilities. Sooner or later, we’ll see Zero Trust becoming the industry standard.
  • Integrated security solutions are vital for sustained productivity. Before the pandemic, protecting on-site servers was enough in maintaining consistent business operations. COVID-19 has, however, shown that cloud security is also imperative.

Drive Productivity With Robust Cybersecurity Managed Services

Overall, the pandemic is accelerating cybersecurity’s digital transformation. Companies can prioritize hiring and empowering diverse security talent to deploy practical threat intelligence tools. Leaning on the cloud’s power can also help institutions respond better to the security paradigm rising from remote work.

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