Cybersecurity positions itself as the mega-trend of the year
If there is one thing that 2020 has achieved, it is to drive the digitalisation of Spanish companies by leaps and bounds, which have gone overnight to having all their employees connected from home, cancelling trips, moving meetings to Zoom and turning employees’ working days into a marathon of teaching at home, exercising at home, meetings at home and, in short, digital fatigue.
Although the consequences of this situation have to do with multiple sectors – health, for the effects it has on physical and mental health; education, for its impact on the curriculum at all levels; and personal, for the extra effort required to organise office, school, gym and home in the same space – we are observing that one of the main repercussions that is going to have a major impact on the business market is managing security.
Having employees connected from home makes them and every device connected to their home WiFi the weakest link in the chain. Cybercriminals have developed social engineering techniques to gain users’ trust and gain access to their private data and by association to corporate networks. A Gartner report claims that, after the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, cybersecurity has become the second most important risk for companies. Corporate security managers have seen all their restrictive policies come to nothing as they have been forced to allow connections from personal devices to USB ports on corporate computers, as well as the communication of their networks with the home WiFi of individual employees. Where once cybercriminals had to develop highly complex strategies to gain access to corporate networks, now it is enough to offer a low-interest loan with the look and feel of your trusted bank, or FFP2 masks at more than reasonable prices, or simply ask permission for an app that the little ones want to use to be installed on Mum’s smartphone or tablet.
The solution is not simple, but it exists, and increasingly it involves the funds allocated to cybersecurity in companies and institutions. These funds are needed to reinforce existing communication infrastructures and to face the new challenges posed by the arrival of 5G and the huge expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT). The first, because it will allow the establishment of private networks based on 5G that will be connected to corporate networks and will have to provide a level of security in line with that established by the corporation. The second, because it introduces devices as mundane as refrigerators, light bulbs, washing machines and domestic weather stations into the corporate security equation. In short, cybersecurity is positioned as the mega-trend that will bring together other technological trends that will mark the development of 2021 and help to consolidate the digitalisation of the business fabric.