2023 marked a significant transformation in the workplace, with organizations worldwide pivoting to remote work, powered by tech, in compliance with social distancing protocols enforced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite being less efficient in the virtual workspace, many companies have continued their work-from-home arrangements that originated during the pandemic.
The abrupt relocation to remote work posed unforeseen challenges to staffers, including inadequate workstations and below-par web connectivity. Additionally, the dispersed workforce introduced added intricacies and security risks to corporate networks. According to a TechRepublic piece, the transition to a hybrid work environment will mandate the deployment of top-notch networking protocols and technologies.
The primary objective of this piece is to analyze the justifications for companies to bolster their network security, presenting the current situation as an opportune time to act. For a more comprehensive discourse on this topic, turn to Works.
Telecommuting and Alternative Forms of Remote Work
The popularity of remote work is predicted to continue, resulting in companies having the duty to safeguard their dispersed networks from the mounting number of cyberattacks originating from both domestic and foreign sources. The wide adoption of cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions has created more opportunities for cybercriminals to infiltrate sensitive information from businesses and their clientele.
The trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), in addition to cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS), is now a concern for employers. Workers would rather use their own devices while on the job rather than managing separate gadgets (e.g., one for work, another for personal use).
Is this not an excellent proposal?
Certainly, with the condition that enterprises enforce rigorous security measures across all gadgets. Business-issued devices should be encrypted, equipped with suitable security software, and employees should be informed of any limitations regarding the usage of the company’s Wi-Fi network and any other efforts implemented to safeguard data.
It’s of utmost importance to have adequate backup and recovery policies in effect, especially with a growing number of staff members working from home. This is to mitigate the likelihood of data loss due to a cyberattack. The top solution to tackle this problem is to grant remote personnel access to a central cloud backup system.
The Escalating Threat of Cyber Attacks
Since the onset of the pandemic, there has been a proliferation of cybercrime cases. Forbes Agency Council member David Fouse asserted that “shortly after the outbreak began, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported a daily average of 3,000 to 4,000 cybersecurity complaints – over three times the number of complaints received per day prior to the pandemic.
Recent developments involving SolarWinds, Colonial Pipeline, and JBS have underscored a worrisome trend, revealing that frequently used software and crucial services such as fuel and food can be susceptible to cyberattacks.
Mandates from High Authorities
The US government, on a nationwide level, is not impervious to the dangers of cyberattacks. To safeguard government networks and bolster cybersecurity efforts, President Biden has authorized an Executive Order. According to the White House, the Executive Order incorporates several actions to guarantee the protection of the country’s digital infrastructure.
- Encourages transparent communication between the public and private sectors regarding security risks.
- Enhances the federal government’s capacity to safeguard itself from cyberattacks.
- Enhances the security of the software supply chain.
- Establishes a committee to assess measures for fortifying against cyber threats.
- Furnishes a guideline for managing cyberattacks.
- Improved capability to detect cyberattacks on government networks.
- Enables more effective analysis and rectification.
Prioritizing the Customer Experience
If there are any lingering reservations about the significance of network security, it is worth acknowledging the worth of safeguarding your customers. Establishing confidence and allegiance through superior service is crucial in fostering a positive customer experience. CX is influenced by the customer’s responses to various aspects of your business interactions.
A cyber intrusion, particularly if it implicates customer data, can detrimentally impact the quality of customer experience you can deliver, irrespective of who is to blame. Bolstering the security measures of your network can incur significant expenses. Nonetheless, the cost of forfeited business and the exertion required to restore customer trust could be even more substantial.
Noncompliance with Regulations
Enterprises need to consider not only the expenses, intricacies, and potential harm to reputation that accompany a cybersecurity breach, but also the possibility of infringing different industry regulations. Instances of such regulations comprise the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for medical institutions, and the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for financial establishments.
Non-adherence to the regulations set by the pertinent authorities could result in penalties and other consequences, irrespective of culpability. Accordingly, it is of the utmost importance for enterprises to commence implementing secure protocols and bolstering their networks promptly.
Enhance Work Efficiency
Network security is of paramount significance in achieving peak performance. Introducing multiple security protocols can frequently impede network speed and curtail its efficacy in thwarting attacks. Nevertheless, guaranteeing network security can also aid in refining the overall performance, paving the way for increased efficiency.
In the event that an enterprise is resolute in optimizing its cybersecurity and productivity, it is advisable for them to appoint or outsource a proficient specialist to help them consolidate their security systems. Additionally, businesses could potentially curtail the number of security products they require by implementing behavioural frameworks such as a Zero Trust policy.
The Advent of a More Secure Era
Companies that directed their workforce to remote operations during the pandemic witnessed the benefits of remote work, including amplified productivity, job contentment, and diminished overheads. Therefore, several companies intend to maintain this practice even post-pandemic. However, as the pandemic’s impact is waning, these businesses ought to re-evaluate their network security measures to ascertain that they were not jeopardized during the outbreak.
Network security is of paramount significance in guaranteeing triumph in the present milieu. Security hazards are escalating, customer experience is crucial, and regulatory conformity mandates that all sensitive customer data is safeguarded with utmost care. Thus, businesses must accord top priority to network security to remain competitive.