Cybersecurity in the New Year
Cybersecurity was a major topic during the past 12 months. Here are a few of the top trends.
2021 was another whirlwind year – full of both difficult challenges and encouraging developments. Naturally, this extends to the cybersecurity field as well. Let’s look forward to some of the biggest cybersecurity developments and what they mean for the workplace.
Malware in the News
Most people these days have a basic understanding of malware. At the very least, they’ve heard the term before, as well as its many variations like computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware or adware. However, 2021 was definitely the moment where cybersecurity awareness went fully mainstream. Whether it be the Colonial Pipeline and SolarWinds attacks to the explosion in phishing related to COVID-19, cybersecurity issues dominated the headlines this year like never before.
Unsurprisingly, this explosion in malware activity has brought a wide range of responses – many of which are quite good and include elements I’ve previously advocated for on this blog. For example, during 2021 it became abundantly clear that cybersecurity should not solely fall under the purview of IT. A secure organization requires everyone to practice safe online behavior, but to do that, employees need guidance on identifying potential threats and acting accordingly when they encounter one. Additionally, end-users often require instruction and training on proper password management.
Remote Work Security
Of course, this is only one piece of the puzzle, particularly as remote work has skyrocketed over the past year. IT professionals have had to push themselves to their limits to support their organizations through such a profound paradigm shift. They have had to contend with employees potentially using unsecured personal devices and networks; the prospect of corporate devices being stolen, lost or misused; and cybersecurity knowledge gaps amongst dispersed workforces. To compensate, businesses have adopted a wide range of approaches, including advocating for multi-factor authentication, conducting extensive WFH (work from home) security training or deploying new solutions such as virtual desktops or DaaS.
Here’s to a Successful 2022
As one year ends and another begins, it’s important to look back in addition to looking ahead. 2021 has been a difficult period for cybersecurity, affecting both IT professionals and end-users. However, by practicing due diligence, ensuring that staff is trained on best practices and making investments where necessary, firms can face the new year with a sense of optimism, knowing that they’re well-positioned to operate safely and effectively in our digital-first economy.