Let’s face it: today, cybersecurity preparedness may be the single greatest imperative that companies around the world are prioritising over other critical business processes. And not without reason. An unprepared security posture in a modern network setting has proven to be the undoing of multinationals and start-ups alike. In this light, the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month serves to remind enterprises of the pressing need for cybersecurity planning and preparedness. Over time, the importance of an annual reminder on the importance of cyber security has spread beyond American frontiers to become a global phenomenon.
The concept of a Cybersecurity Awareness Month dates back to 2004, started as an annual drive by cybersecurity companies to make companies aware about increasing cybersecurity risks and challenges and the need to secure their own networks. The NCSAM was a joint initiative by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance. Since then, the initiative has become a month long annual event replete with conferences, product launches, and awareness drives.
With the last 6 months presenting circumstances that no business has ever faced, the onus was on security teams to ensure uninterrupted and secure access for remote workforces, and enable business continuity. As such, cybersecurity, which until then had only been seen as a preventive measure to be implemented in high risk, suddenly came into the spotlight. In this scenario, the Cybersecurity Awareness Month couldn’t have come at a better time, with companies transforming their entire security posture along with their working model.
The overarching theme for this year’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month has been rightly fixed as ‘Do Your Part, #BeCyberSmart’. This is especially important, given the unprecedented shift to remote working models, and a significant rise in the number of unmanaged personal devices being used to access enterprise networks. Coupled with the increasing adoption of the cloud, we are faced with highly vulnerable networks that are susceptible to breaches. In this scenario, it becomes essential to draw the attention of individuals working in companies to the advances in cybersecurity, the rise of new cybersecurity risks and challenges, and the need to move beyond archaic conceptions of security, which are more often than not, limited to the use of VPNs and firewalls.
With a focus on individual users who use personal devices or companies which employ a BYOD policy, the theme tries to emphasise that given the advances in malware development, all personal devices which are connected to the enterprise network, be it managed or unmanaged, presents a veritable security risk. With the rise in digital transformation and BYOD, it becomes critical to assume newer security models that protect and secure all types of devices through a process of continuous authentication and authorisation.
The aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic has pushed aggressively what can only be termed as the world’s largest work from home experiment. With the remote work model not looking to fade into obscurity anytime soon, the onus is on security teams to ensure that users, devices, and applications are secure, and the enterprise network is accessed securely without compromising on user performance. The rise of neoteric solutions like Software Defined perimeters, and Zero Trust Security becomes indispensable to the continuance of the remote work models, and as such, awareness regarding the same becomes imperative.
Given this focus on cybersecurity and need for an awareness on the same, InstaSafe will be coming up with a series of theme specific blogs to educate organisations on cybersecurity risks and challenges, and how to improve their security posture. Through this endeavour, we hope to make it known to companies as well as individuals that the next step to strong security is strong security preparedness and awareness.