Remote security is a top priority for most companies in 2021, as most organizations’ workforce continues to work remotely to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A survey of 100 security professionals conducted by Lumu, a provider of continuous compromise assessment solutions, finds 94% consider securing the remote workforce to be their biggest priority in 2021.
The next-highest priorities are automating detection and response (84%), risk-based vulnerability management (83%), extended detection and response capabilities (81%) and cloud security management (81%).
Other major priorities include planning to prioritize threat visibility across all assets (77%), prioritizing alert management systems for security operations centers (SOC), prioritizing threat hunting (73%), expanding penetration testing efforts (72%), considering data classification and protection in all areas and measuring compromise (70%).
Respondents will also make third-party assessment a priority (66%), prioritize cybersecurity skill assessment (62%) and make passwordless authentication and simplified cloud access controls a priority (56%).
The survey suggests that budgets to address these requirements have increased considerably. While many organizations increased cybersecurity spending in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic to enable remote work, it’s apparent there’s now an even greater appreciation for the scope and scale of the challenge. Even after a COVID-19 vaccine is distributed, the number of employees that work remotely will be much higher than it was prior to the pandemic.
Richardo Villadiego, Lumu’s CEO, said organizations will be much more focused on monitoring their IT environments for breaches in an effort to regain lost visibility. In the rush to enable employees to work from home, most organizations were initially focused on making sure employees had access to a virtual private network (VPN), and not much else, Villadiego said.
Before the pandemic, many organizations had a false sense of security, but Villadiego said with so many employees beyond the network perimeter, they will be more likely to accurately reassess the scope of the threats they face.
Potential threats, however, are not just limited to the endpoints and wireless networks employees are using to access applications. Threats also extend to the cloud applications many employees are now accessing instead of on-premises applications, which many organizations shifted away from using during the pandemic, Villadiego said.
Cybersecurity professionals would be advised not to let a good crisis go to waste. At the senior leadership level, there’s more focus on cybersecurity today than prior to the pandemic. That awareness creates a unique opportunity for cybersecurity teams to revamp technologies and processes with the support of senior level executives.
The challenge, of course, is accomplishing those goals before the focus on cybersecurity shifts elsewhere.