The coronavirus pandemic reinforced two lessons for today’s business owners. First, even established conventions can shift rapidly, given the right stimuli. In order to survive, businesses must, therefore, be flexible and resilient to sudden changes. Case in point: shelter-in-place orders compelled companies to implement remote work setups within weeks or even days — a challenge for companies with traditionally on-site operations.

Second, cybercriminals are relentlessly opportunistic. Neither the virus nor the policies designed to curb its transmission slowed crooks down. In fact, we saw a rise in fresh cybersecurity challenges, including new scams and malware, during the pandemic. Many of these threats took advantage of their victims’ fear, uncertainty, and hunger for knowledge to steal money or valuable data.

How are these lessons changing the face of cybersecurity in the new normal?

The coronavirus pandemic has many business owners concerned about continuity, cybersecurity, and flexibility. For this reason, network security in the new normal will likely follow these trends:

1. Greater importance of agility
Remote work is likely to stay as a crucial part of the new normal. Your business must be agile enough to function efficiently and deliver high-quality products and services no matter where you operate. The key to achieving this goal is to use solutions that facilitate smooth collaboration among team members who may be miles away from one another.

If you’re already using communication apps like Slack and Zoom, then you’re off to a good start. You can also invest in solutions like Microsoft 365, which allows you to seamlessly share files and collaborate on documents in real time.

2. More spending on cloud solutions
The cloud has gained a lot of ground in recent years, but the pandemic only solidified its importance to business. After all, it allows users to store and access files from anywhere, making it crucial for remote work. Cloud storage services also encrypt stored data and lock it behind a password, which makes the technology essential for cybersecurity.

The cloud will play several roles in the new normal. Besides supporting flexible working arrangements, it will also be used to store backups of important files as a measure against ransomware attacks. Ransomware prevents you from accessing your files unless you pay a ransom — and it is expected to be a severe threat in the new normal.

Further reading:
5 Simple ways to prevent ransomware attacks on your business

If you haven’t adopted the cloud, now is a great time to get started. Admittedly, migrating to the cloud isn’t a simple matter if you don’t have an internal IT team. The good news is that you can work with a managed services provider (MSP) that will take care of the entire process for you.

3. Increased investment in virtual private networks (VPNs)
A VPN creates a virtual tunnel through which data passes between your network and your intended destination. The data is encrypted so that unauthorized eyes would not be able to read it. A VPN also lets you pretend that you’re accessing the internet from a certain location other than your current one. This allows users to gain access to digital content that’s fenced in by geo-restrictions. Both of these features make VPNs crucial for remote teams, especially those with members located in different countries.

If you’re investing in a VPN, choose a service with servers powerful enough to support your entire team as well as other users, such as your third-party partners. Limited servers tend to overload and slow down as the number of people using it increases.

4. More focus on identity and access management (IAM)
With flexible working, you must always be able to reliably identify who’s accessing your network. IAM allows you to do just that.

One of the most popular identity-related security initiatives is multifactor authentication (MFA). This approach requires users to provide two or more authentication factors to verify their identity. In most cases, MFA requires a password and something you know (a code or PIN), something you have (a card or badge), or something you are (a fingerprint or iris scan). The additional requirements prevent cybercriminals from accessing your network even if they do get ahold of your password through social engineering and other devious methods.

Tech Squared helps companies augment their resilience and defenses against threats in the new normal. As your partner, we will help you identify and implement the solutions that match your needs and ensure your business’s survival and growth. Discover the many ways we can help your business achieve its full potential by downloading this free eBook today.

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