There’s no doubt COVID-19 changed the digital landscape. Overnight businesses turned digital to survive. With many organisations forced into new ways of working in 2020, cybercriminals were able to take advantage of insecure networks much more frequently. In the first lockdown, the UK saw a 31 per cent increase in cyberattacks. A combination of human and bot attacks led to heightened attack rates, significant spikes in fraud attempts and greater volatility.

As the world returns to ‘normal’, what can we expect from the future of cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity culture

Companies need to create a culture of cybersecurity throughout their organisation. As staff continue to work remotely, training needs to be offered to build employee knowledge on how to work securely. Lack of employee understanding of cybersecurity remains a major threat to organisations. Over 3 billion fake emails are sent daily and 47 per cent of workers have fallen for a phishing scam while working remotely. If employees aren’t equipped to recognise potential security risk, then it puts the whole organisation at risk.

Working from home does not guarantee the same level of cybersecurity as an office. The rise in employees using their own personal device increases a company’s exposure to cyberattacks. Over the next year, cybersecurity training and providing personal devices with adequate security protection will become normal.

Businesses need to introduce a cybersecurity focus with sufficient infrastructure, secure tools and software. Organisations should invest in specific cybersecurity staff to maintain security protocols and manage cyber threats.

Cloud computing

The pandemic accelerated the use of cloud computing. Almost every business now relies on the cloud to support their IT infrastructure. Cloud computing is creating new challenges for cybersecurity and is a growing concern for organisations. Between January and April 2020, there was a there was a 600 per cent increase in attacks on cloud servers. 2021 will see a greater focus on cloud security with organisations implementing stringent new cloud security policies to safeguard data.

Zero trust

As much work continues to be done remotely, employees must have access to secure apps and devices. A zero trust architecture provides secure access, which is essential when staff are working from home. The access system authenticates and authorises by not only interrogating the user but also the network signal, device, location and data. It assumes that users both inside and outside the network are untrustworthy, therefore minimises any security risks. To stay secure in the future, organisations must adopt a zero trust mindset and increase verification both inside and outside the company perimeters.

Biometrics boom

Identity protection needs to become a top priority. Advanced biometric solutions provide higher security than two-factor authentication, creating secure user experiences. Biometric data is also stored as encrypted data, which is difficult for hackers to decipher and use for fraud.

2020 changed everything, and that means your cybersecurity approach needs to change too. For help finding the right experts for your business, get in touch.