Wow what a year it has been with everyone working from home, good guys and bad, we learned a tough lesson, that security protocols per se were no panacea for cyber vulnerability. Aurora rose to the occasion, we were busy with a series of gap analysis’, security assessments, and long hours of remediation. The usual set of Q4 corporate exercises from sales and marketing strategies to budgets and reviews got me thinking, what will cybersecurity in 2021 look like:
Remote Work will Continue to be the Norm
This is an easy prediction, WFH will be in place for the better half of 2021, more importantly, organizations have been battle-tested and adjusted for an efficient remote workforce. Add to this huge savings in rent, good coffee, Friday Bagels and not having to deal with clogged office kitchen sinks, viola – remote working, and the related cybersecurity demands around remote access, could be here to stay.
Sure, the math is simple; remote workforce = more stuff in the cloud, that’s a gimme, however what cloud?! Yes, there already is a growing need for advancements in cloud security, the focus on CASB, SASE, and even VPNs will increase. This means more security plays around VPNs, Remote Desktops, Cloud, MFA, and collaboration, the recent huge gains in the Microsoft Teams feature set is a case in point. With the pressure on the current two leading purveyors of all things cloud, I am sure we will see greater decentralization, maybe a lot more “cloudlets”.
Pirates by any other name…
Huge corporate investments in a remote workforce means that that the secured company perimeter of old just went “open ocean”, we are forced to protect an almost infinite boundary calling for a paradigm shift in the concept of protecting corporate Networks. How does secure access to a remote worker who could be anywhere and more importantly keep the bad guys out, especially in the healthcare and financial sectors?
Covid Positive (!)
Yes, those are dread words and as I look back, I know that there is a lot of “positive” for our industry:
- For a cybersecurity industry growing by orders of magnitude, we have had time to pause, focus and reprioritize, more on cloud, and less on-prem.
- Necessity has driven rapid innovation; the need was to quickly get an efficient remote workforce deployed and we sure have risen to the occasion.
- Contrarian as this may sound, the bad guys are “corralled” outside the organization premises, security teams must worry less about errant clicks behind the firewall conversely allowing them to focus their attention on what’s happening outside.
- Two big P&L line items in most mid-sized organizations are Payroll and Rent, the pandemic has mandated efficiencies in both. From reducing physical workspace to hiring globally companies are constantly seeking greater ROI on how their rent and payroll spend.