It is widely acknowledged that in 2023, there was a shift from office to home working, enabled by extensive use of technology, in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many organizations have maintained their work-from-home policies, even though they may be more productive if their employees were based in the office.
The swift transition to working from home (WFH) presented some unforeseen difficulties for employees, such as a lack of suitable spaces and inadequate internet connections. Furthermore, the dispersed workforce created additional complexities and vulnerabilities for business networks. As outlined in a recent TechRepublic article, the shift to hybrid-style work will further necessitate the implementation of effective networking technologies and standards.
This article examines the various arguments in favor of companies strengthening their network security, making this an ideal opportunity to do so. Works looks at these issues in detail.
Telecommuting and Other Forms of Telework
The prevalence of remote working is set to remain, bringing with it the responsibility for businesses to safeguard their distributed networks from the ever-rising number of cyberattacks originating from both inside and outside the country. With the widespread use of cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, there is a greater number of avenues for cybercriminals to access sensitive data from businesses and their customers.
Employers are now having to contend with the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon, as well as cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS). Employees would much prefer to use their own personal devices at work, rather than having multiple devices (e.g. one for work and one for personal use).
This is a fantastic plan, right?
Yes, provided that organizations enforce robust security protocols across all devices. All company-issued devices should be encrypted, with appropriate security software in place, and employees should be made aware of any restrictions concerning the usage of the company’s Wi-Fi network and any other steps taken to protect data.
It is essential to have adequate backup and recovery procedures in place, particularly as more people are working remotely. This is to reduce the risk of data loss in the event of a cyberattack. The most effective solution to this issue is to give remote employees access to a centralized cloud backup system.
Cyber Attacks Are On The Rise
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a surge in cybercrime. According to Forbes Agency Council member David Fouse, “shortly after the outbreak began, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center began receiving 3,000 to 4,000 daily cyber security complaints – a more than threefold increase from the 1,000 daily complaints it was receiving prior to the pandemic.
Recent news concerning SolarWinds, Colonial Pipeline and JBS has highlighted a concerning trend, confirming that even widely used software, along with those providing essential services such as petrol and food, can be vulnerable to attack.
Directives from on High
The United States government, on a national scale, is not immune to the vulnerability of cyber attacks. To protect government networks and strengthen cybersecurity, President Biden has issued an Executive Order. The White House has reported that the Executive Order includes a range of measures to ensure the safety of the nation’s digital infrastructure.
- Facilitates open communication between public and private sectors on security threats.
- Increases the federal government’s ability to protect itself against cyberattacks.
- Improves the safety of the software supply chain
- Creates a committee to evaluate measures for protecting against cyber threats
- Provides a template for handling cyber-attacks.
- Enhanced ability to identify cyber attacks on government networks
- Allows for better analysis and correction
It’s All About the Customer Experience
If there is still any doubt about the importance of network security, it is worth considering the value of protecting your customers. Building trust and loyalty through excellent service is essential to creating a positive customer experience. CX is determined by the customer’s reactions to different aspects of your business interactions.
A cyber breach, especially if it involves customer data, can have a detrimental effect on the level of customer experience you are able to provide, regardless of who is accountable. Enhancing the security measures of your network can be expensive. However, the cost of lost business and the effort required to rebuild trust with customers may be even greater.
Conflicts with Regulations
Companies must take into consideration not only the cost, complexity, and potential reputational damage of a cybersecurity breach, but also the risk of violating various industry regulations. Examples of such regulations include the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for medical establishments and the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for financial companies.
Failure to abide by the regulations set out by the relevant authorities may incur fines and other repercussions, irrespective of who is at fault. Consequently, it is of utmost importance for businesses to start implementing secure procedures and strengthening their networks without delay.
Boost Efficiency in Work
Network security is of utmost importance for ensuring optimal performance. Implementing multiple security protocols can often slow down the network and reduce its effectiveness in preventing attacks. However, by ensuring the network is secure, it can also help to improve overall performance, leading to increased efficiency.
If a business is committed to optimizing its cybersecurity and productivity, it is recommended that they employ or contract a knowledgeable expert to help them centralize their security systems. Furthermore, businesses may be able to reduce the number of security products they need by introducing behavioral protocols such as a Zero Trust policy.
The Dawn of a Safer Age
Companies who had to send their employees home during the pandemic experienced the advantages of remote working in terms of increased productivity, employee satisfaction and reduced overheads. Consequently, a number of companies plan to continue with this arrangement even after the pandemic has ended. As the effects of the pandemic are beginning to subside, however, these businesses must assess their network security protocols to ensure that they have not been compromised during the outbreak.
Network security is of utmost importance in order to ensure success in the current environment. Security threats are on the rise, customer experience is essential and regulatory compliance requires that all sensitive customer data is securely protected. Therefore, businesses should prioritize network security in order to remain competitive.