Guest Post By Elaine Bennett
As if the IT sector hasn’t already gotten accustomed to the need for ongoing innovation, this past year has been more than enough to spark more ideas in this realm. Companies have had to enable remote work for their employees, with little time to make the transition seamless. Brands have had to rethink their partnerships in order to deliver their product to the customer, and remain seemingly unaffected by the pandemic. In a way, cybersecurity has become even more vital than ever, but with few companies equipped to adapt quickly enough.
While we do hope that 2021 will be easier on us all, it’s safe to say that the entire business world needs to brace itself for the ongoing repercussions of the pandemic. To elevate security and overcome these challenges more effectively, we need to recognize and implement the most effective solutions 2021 will see. Let’s mention a few that will be in the spotlight as we approach 2021, and hopefully you’ll be better prepared for any setbacks that lie ahead.
Remote device security on the rise
With remote work becoming the new norm in 2021, companies will need to find creative and effective ways to circumvent not using their offices for conducting their work. Create a policy that will help streamline how your employees use their devices for work at home, and which applications they can utilize on those devices.
Create a cybersecurity culture that will foster transparency, so whenever someone has a question or an issue, they will come to you. End-to-end encryption, smart password management, and other practices need to be ensured for your remote workers, so plan for your remote cybersecurity in 2021.
Dedicated cybersecurity training for employees
Hackers might be your main concern when you think about cybersecurity, but truth be told, your employees can be your weakest links when it comes to security. As much as they are your most vital assets, your teams also need to be mindful of how to prevent possible breaches with their own actions and decisions.
To help prevent internal cybersecurity issues, more companies will invest in information technology certificates to have trained and certified cybersecurity staff.
These certifications will become a necessity for most modern-day companies in 2021, to make sure that security is constantly improving, that there’s a monitoring and testing system in place, and that all employees are properly equipped to handle sensitive data.
By now, most if not all companies have started using cloud computing one way or another. Chances are that you are using cloud storage and cloud-based collaboration for your teams, too. The built-in security protocols make these options extremely beneficial for companies of all scopes and sizes, but you also need to consider your employees’ various accounts and applications.
For that reason, brands in 2021 will be much more vigilant and pickier when choosing cloud vendors, precisely for the kind of security solutions they offer. The cloud is inherently highly functional and scalable and it helps companies deploy a number of demanding processes without compromising their workflow – but cloud security will be a major topic in 2021, and more vendors will have to rise to the occasion to deliver smarter solutions than before.
Security hardware to match
For companies that will work from offices, 2021 will be the right time to start fortifying your office-based cybersecurity with the right hardware options. For example, hardware firewalls are an excellent way to combine with your software firewall and protect your business network on several fronts at the same time.
Then again, data storage shouldn’t be limited to cloud servers, especially if you’re handling swarms of sensitive customer information, employee and partner contracts, and the like. More companies in 2021 will look into hardware storage opportunities to boost their security and overall safety of data management, and elevate their data recovery strategy.
Smarter authentication methods
Using weak passwords for protecting your accounts and your business network can mean the end of your business and your reputation. Then again, few companies and individuals leverage the perks of password managers, which are exceptionally helpful when it comes to helping companies manage intricate and often meaningless combinations to stay on the safe side.
In 2021, technology will encourage and enable companies to transition from simple password protection completely. What this means is that you can start using more refined protection methods, starting with multifactor authentication with each application and account your employees use. Add to that, biometrics will help elevate security, as, let’s face it, hackers can never “guess” your fingerprint or your voice. So, adding biometrics as an added layer of security in the process of authentication will help boost your cybersecurity.
Although most companies are focusing on retaining financial stability and getting back on their feet as the pandemic starts to, hopefully, dwindle, cybersecurity needs to be part of that focus, as well. Should you fail to invest in cybersecurity and breach prevention, you risk diving into greater financial turmoil, as the price of damage control can far outweigh the cost of prevention. Look for a combination of cybersecurity solutions that make sense for your business, as long as you protect your network, employee interactions, as well as all communications that occur with your customers.
Elaine Bennett is a digital marketing specialist focused on helping startups and small businesses grow. She’s a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog and writes hands-on articles about business and marketing.
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