Assessing the New Normal for Cybersecurity

As work from home continues, cyberthreats related to the new normal will remain even post-pandemic

“Pandemic” was the word of the year, with runners up including quarantine, coronavirus and asymptomatic. They make sense, of course, but two phrases that should also be included in that list are “remote worker” (or work from home, take your pick) and “new normal.”

In the cybersecurity world, everything revolved the remote worker as soon as the pandemic hit the country hard. How do you connect them securely? How do you keep them from making mistakes that could lead to cyberthreats? The challenge was real, and it will continue to vex cybersecurity teams for a long time because, well, this is our new normal.

In a survey of 600 IT security professionals, conducted by Check Point, 47% of respondents said security for employees working remotely will be the leading challenge going into 2021, while 61% said it is going to a top priority for the next two years. And exactly half said that there will be no return to pre-pandemic cybersecurity norms.

“For many, the rapid changes they made to their networks and security infrastructures in response to the pandemic will be permanent,” Mark Ostrowski, head of engineering at Check Point, said in a formal statement. “Dealing with the impact of the pandemic on business operations, and ensuring they can continue to operate as efficiently and as securely as possible will be the biggest ongoing challenge for most enterprises.”

Where the New Normal Is

Organizations saw a major shift in cybersecurity in 2020. “Ninety-five percent of respondents said their strategies had changed in the second half of the year, the biggest being enabling remote working at scale,” the report stated. “This was followed by security education for employees; improving network security and threat prevention; expanded endpoint and mobile security, and rapid adoption of cloud technologies.” And for the majority, the response to the pandemic required unplanned reinventions to their cybersecurity business model, leaving little room to work on projects initially planned for 2020.

The most major shift that this pandemic has created for organizations in…