COVID-19 has created shutdowns and major disruptions in employee working styles and supply chains across all sectors. One of the most critical issues is cybersecurity due to increased cyber-attack threats as organizations become more dependent on technology.

COVID-19 and cybersecurity

GlobalData has been engaging with a number of organizations to establish what their strategic operational initiatives are to address the effects of COVID-19 and the role cybersecurity plays. Some of the challenging areas we have seen organizations face include:

  • Realignment and prioritization of IT programs – particularly in sectors like IT, health and retail, with a particular focus on more tactical short term fix solutions.
  • Shift to remote working and providing adequate security measures
  • Minimizing disruptions to supply chains – for example ensuring credible cloud security measures are in place as greater pressure is placed on accessing data outside the enterprise network.
  • Ensuring business continuity (employee safety and alternate supply chains) – particularly in sectors like healthcare and retail food chains, where monitoring shadow IT and providing security on cloud IT environments is required.

 

In light of Covid-19, the majority of cybersecurity vendors are emphasizing that enterprises put in place adequate security measures and policies. These need to addresses malicious campaigns including email spam, malware attacks particularly with remote working, ransomware and malicious domains, and network protection to prevent embedded malware attacks that deploy social engineering tactics that infect corporate networks.

Cybersecurity vendors are prioritizing their marketing

In particular, cybersecurity vendors like Crowdstrike, Palo Alto Networks, Checkpoint, and McAfee are prioritizing their marketing efforts. These centre around remote access VPN monitoring, endpoint threat prevention, mobile security and secure workplace, and cloud and device security.  Within the cybersecurity landscape, vendors specializing in mobile or endpoint security with strong anti-malware capabilities will benefit.

Some of these vendors include Microsoft, CrowdStrike, Sophos, McAfee, Trend Micro and Fortinet. Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) including NTT, BT Global Services and Orange Cyberdefense will also be relevant in the COVID-19 climate, particularly in relation to large multi-nationals requiring MSSPs and Security Operations Centre (SOC).

Vendors are facing the same challenges

A key observation to make with respect to the cybersecurity vendors is that many of these companies are facing the same COVID-19 operational challenges that their clients are facing. Many of these vendors are focusing on business continuity and ensuring operations and SOCs are running efficiently with robust remote working structures in place with adequate IT and security.

As an example, Cisco is scaling up its remote working infrastructure for operations in India and is also considering ‘desktop as a service’. As Cisco scales up and progresses with this rollout the company is having to address its own security posture. Normally, IT programs of this nature do not pose significant challenges when implemented over acceptable timeframes. However, when this level of scale up is required in short timeframes greater consideration needs to be made with respect to security and associated polices.

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