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On the face of it, the coronavirus outbreak doesn’t have much to do with cybersecurity. But delve a little deeper and it becomes clear that COVID-19 has the potential to change how we work forever and, with it, the way we approach cybersecurity. Let’s explore how.

The World is Changing 

Coronavirus has the potential to change the world forever. Analysis from the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that the shock to our livelihoods from the economic impact of virus-suppression efforts could be the biggest in nearly a century.

Even if those predictions prove too gloomy and we emerge from the other side of the crisis with the economy largely intact, the way we work is already changing. A large portion of the UK’s workforce has spent the last  few weeks working from home, something that was previously considered unthinkable for many businesses.  

But this is about more than a few weeks working from home. Once the dust settles on the economic shock and disruption caused by coronavirus, we’re going to be looking at a very different business world. What will this ‘new normal’ look like?  

Remote Working Becomes the New Normal

Companies forced to embrace remote working are likely to find their employees questioning why they need to return to the office at all once the crisis is over.

Meanwhile, many businesses are also going to discover that running a business remotely is possible and perhaps even preferable to the current model. This is only likely to become more pronounced in the post-COVID-19 world. 

If economic predictions are correct, we will have weathered months of economic slowdown by the time the crisis draws to a close. As a result, many businesses will be in poor financial and operational health and looking to save costs. And, if you’ve spent much of the last quarter working remotely with few problems, the most logical OPEX cost to cut is office space.

Commentators are questioning whether this has already begun, with some companies promising to reimburse employees for the expense of setting up home offices, covering the costs of computer hardware, desks and ergonomic chairs. 

On top of this, our planet continues to change. The fallout from climate change and the need to cut emissions rapidly could provide a further catalyst for change. When you consider the difference millions of workers not commuting every day could make, it’s not hard to imagine a future in which businesses decide that it’s greener, safer and more cost-effective to work remotely, at least some of the time.

However, while the idea of us all working remotely to save the planet sounds quite utopian, it doesn’t come without issues and major technology challenges.

New Era, New Threats

In our hypothetical future, we’re all now working from home. The days of physical offices and on-premise data centres are coming to an end. Instead we’re increasingly reliant on cloud technology, personal Internet connections and massive exchanges of data in our day to day activities.

However, this brave new world comes with a whole new set of problems. Will your employees adhere to the same safety standards when using their home internet connection? How will you ensure nothing dangerous enters or leaves your organisation through the cloud?

We’ve had a foretaste of some of these problems during the COVID-19 crisis. Some systems are already creaking under the strain. Corporate networks, unused to having the majority of their connections being made through VPNs are producing unusual quirks and concerns about safety.

This is before we even consider cybercrime. While the COVID-19 crisis may have come to an end, the bad guys will have spent the downtime adapting to the new reality and planning the next cyber pandemic. These new threats will be like nothing we’ve seen before, completely unknown and immune to current defences.

What’s more, businesses are likely to be uniquely vulnerable. Many of them will be going through the teething problems of adapting to whole new ways of working, meaning even existing defences could be weak. With many businesses only just beginning to recover after the long economic slowdown, few will be able to afford a malware or ransomware intrusion, let alone the secondary impact of a scandal or huge fine for a data breach.

That sounds daunting, but there is something you can do help your business adapt to the new world order safely.

New Protection For a New World Order

You have to up your game. Cybercriminals will use the disruption caused by COVID-19 to their advantage, that’s for certain. And new ways of working will bring with them new threats, threats we’ve never seen before.

As these threats emerge, detection and detection-based technologies will continue to prove ineffective. It’s impossible to detect something that’s never been seen before and there’s little point being protected against yesterday’s threat. But there’s an easy way to make sure cybercriminals find strength rather than weakness when they come for your business, even if you’ve taken a hit during the crisis.

The answer is to adopt a zero-trust approach.

As previously mentioned, it’s impossible to detect every threat in an ever-evolving security environment, particularly when many of these attacks are brand new. So why try? A zero-trust approach assumes that any data entering or leaving your organisation could be harmful and treats it accordingly.

Take our own unique Zero-trust Threat Removal Platform as an example. Rather than attempting to detect malware and making best efforts to cleanse your data, our platform extracts everything valuable from content entering your organisation and transforms it into new, safe data in real-time. Any threats never enter your business, they’re simply discarded.

This unique approach protects your organisation from any threat, even those that don’t exist yet. And there’s no need for updates; the approach doesn’t use detection so it’s completely futureproofed against anything cybercriminals can come up with now or in the future.

We stand on the precipice of great change in the business world and how organisations act in the next few weeks and months could well define their future. Adapting your cybersecurity is a huge part of this. As the whole world changes, pick the only protection that you will never need to.

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