The security risks of 2020
Even before COVID-19, new and different security challenges were present in 2020. More digital services were being delivered on a global scale and tensions were high in international communities; for example, trade disputes that often incited cyberwars. Further, more digitalization of physical objects means more cyber-physical risks that security and risk leaders must address. And a general increase in digital services with increased customer touchpoints, from banks to utility companies, creates even more vulnerabilities ripe for exploitation by a nefarious party.
And then came COVID-19.
Some industries (travel, retail, entertainment) experienced catastrophic impact, while others (online shopping, telemedicine) had huge growth. Each of these situations comes with unique security and risk challenges.
The initial scramble to keep businesses operating, people working and money moving afforded an opportunity to identify new risks, reassign resources and shift investments to meet outcomes. Now that organizations have moved past the initial response phase, security and risk leaders can review what was done and identify new risks on the horizon — as well as new opportunities.
The drive to digital business
New opportunities bring with them new risks, and CISOs worry that the business will fail to prepare for some of them. The Gartner CEO Survey revealed that 82% of CEOs have a digital transformation or management initiative, up from 62% in 2018. However, a Gartner survey of CISOs found that while 90% of respondents believe digital business will create new types and new levels of risk, 70% felt the investment in risk management was not keeping up with the newer higher level of risk.
The good news is that the business continues to value cybersecurity as an essential function and executives will look to CISOs to secure the business and limit risk, while also enabling opportunities for technology to transform operating models. This is especially important as CEOs look to accelerate digital business to survive and thrive in a post-COVID-19 environment.
The goal should be to balance risk, trust and opportunity as businesses and organizations enter the “renew” stage of pandemic planning. New technologies will help accelerate and guide this process, whether it’s XDR or the rapidly increasing push to cloud, or the role automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will play as the world reacclimates.