Data Security in the Age of Pandemics: Surviving and Thriving

There is this scene in the movie Jurassic Park, set in the last 40 minutes, where Ariana Richards hacks into the park’s security system — to prolong the inevitable Death-by-Dinosaur.

It’s a UNIX system!” she exclaims. “I know this!” before hacking her way into a state-of-the-art security system.

If she would’ve gone to the island after a year and half of pandemic, when most businesses are running on-line and in the cloud you’d probably hear her say “It’s all in the cloud! I got this!” instead.

Data Security in The Post COVID World Order

Most enterprises were caught off-guard by the COVID crisis, while they were busy bracing up for the fourth industrial revolution. Meetings were held, remote work experiments were conducted, and businesses went into survival mode — somehow restructured for online operations.

Now, more than a year into the pandemic, as the dust continues to settle, the forward-thinking business leaders are taking a step back and asking the obvious — I made it work, but did I pay enough attention to data security?

The fast-tracking of digitization led to a sprawl of unmanageable systems. I am talking servers, data centres, containers, storage systems, VPNs, and a plethora of other on-premises/ cloud resources. While most businesses are making this work in terms of business results, enterprise data is caught in the crossfire of this shift.

In this new world order, a potential hacker may not be a rogue spy jumping out of a building or a secret criminal nerd syndicate. It’s more likely to be someone who shares the wi-fi connection with you in a shared workplace or a friendly cloud/ database administrator — who can exploit a potential vulnerability and make you an addition to the cybercrime statistics.

Having said that, businesses have started taking data security quite seriously. A recent survey states that most leaders (88%) are looking at increased security spending at their organization, 35% stating a “significant” boost. However, whether that budget is being put in the right place is the real question and probably the most complicated facet of data security.

With exploding trends such as BYOD and remote work, data cops need to cast a much wider net. Add to that the post COVID world order and the threat landscape has quadrupled.

Think Beyond the Perimeter, Protect the Data Itself

In a connected enterprise there are hundreds of potential ways to circumvent security – and there is no single magic bullet to prevent that from happening.

Understand that the enterprise perimeter now extends to a distributed pool of resources and a nomadic workforce that thrives on cloud-based communication, collaboration, and development platforms. It is not enough to keep building the wall higher or moats deeper – someone always finds a longer ladder. Instead the enterprises need to ensure that their security efforts are focused on the data itself, not just the perimeter.

Just look at the numbers. A recent survey claims that one in every four respondents admitted to falling for phishing scams. Distraction was cited as the primary cause by 47% of respondents, and more than half of them claimed that they felt more distracted when working from home.

The point that I am trying to make here is that businesses need to focus more on securing the data because of the greater exposure- rather than focusing solely on beefing up the fence around it.

Is Your Business Prepared for These New Data-Security Risks?

Digitization and cloud migration can be both painful and progressive depending on how you go about it. Irrespectively, one fact that stands tall is that it moves a huge chunk of your business data online. Data that demands better security. Necessarily so.

What you truly need is a data-first security approach to ensure that security negligence does not hurt your operational excellence.

Though data security management remains a top-of-mind concern for most members in the executive committees, it deserves more attention in view of the mutating threat landscape during the pandemic. They need to re-design their strategies around ‘when’ they get attacked rather than ‘if’ they get attacked.

Let’s get started on how you could do that.

Read this Buyers Guide to understand how you can keep pace with the changing business requirements & security risks, and how to take a data-first approach to it.

Not fond of reading? Watch this webinar instead. Understand why organizations need a layered approach that gives data the right level of security regardless of location.

Prefer a more one-on-one discussion on what works best for your data? Our experts will be happy to help you out. Feel free to reach out to us.

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