Four Cybersecurity Lessons Learned in 2020

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, reliance on digital technologies skyrocketed and cybersecurity challenges quickly multiplied right along with this digital transformation. As organizations scrambled to ensure business continuity during the pandemic, important cybersecurity lessons were brought to light on the critical nature of securely supporting hybrid and remote working at scale as well as securely moving more workflows to the cloud.

Cybersecurity lessons learned during the pandemic make a compelling case for enterprises to strengthen their security posture particularly when it comes to remote collaboration tools, data security, end-to-end encryption, and cybersecurity training.

Lesson 1: Securing remote collaboration is mission-critical

As remote working models made communication and collaboration tools the primary channels for business interaction during the pandemic, cyber criminals ramped up efforts to exploit major security gaps and vulnerabilities in many of these tools.

According to Deloitte, “an example of criminals exploiting the cybersecurity weaknesses in remote working has been the series of cyberattacks on video conferencing services. Between February 2020 and May 2020 more than half a million people were affected by breaches in which the personal data of video conferencing services users (e.g., name, passwords, email addresses) was stolen and sold on the dark web.”

The uptick in use of consumer-grade messaging apps during the pandemic also exposed organizations to data security failures that put enterprises at risk for data loss and compliance issues which negatively impact the bottom line and brand reputation.

Key takeaway: Organizations should proactively provide the right-fit tools for secure enterprise communication and collaboration to avoid reactively dealing with cyber incidents. NetSfere’s secure, end-to-end encrypted collaboration platform, architected from the ground up with enterprise security and compliance in mind, helps organizations build cyber resiliency by eliminating a major threat vector from enterprise IT operating environments.

Lesson 2: Data security strategies need to address increasing cyberthreats

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of statistics showing how cyberthreats massively increased in frequency and scope in 2020. Defending the enterprise from the risk of data leakage and disruptive cyberattacks was and continues to be a critical challenge for organizations. Consider that:

  • Every minute, $11,400,000 will be lost to cybercrime due to security breaches, according to RiskIQ’s The Evil Internet Minute 2020.
  • A 2020 Year End Data Breach QuickView Report by RiskBased Security revealed that there were 3,932 publicly reported data breaches in 2020, compromising over 37 billion records.
  • Global cybercrime costs will grow by 15% per year over the next five years, reaching $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, according to projections from Cybersecurity Ventures.
  • Malware increased by 358% overall and ransomware increased by 435% in 2020 as compared with 2019, according to findings by cybersecurity company Deep Instinct.

Lesson 3: End-to-end encryption is essential

End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is essential to building cyber-resilient organizations especially as enterprises continue to shift workflows to cloud-based applications and permanently move to remote and hybrid working models. In a recent report highlighting eight key cybersecurity considerations for a new reality, KPMG noted “in this changing world, cyber threats are mounting. Companies need to think differently about protecting their competitive advantage and developing new models to become and remain cyber secure.”

Key takeaway: Applications featuring the advanced security controls provided by E2EE are critical for securing the distributed workforce and mitigating cyber risks. NetSfere, a mobile-first, multi-platform that provides industry-leading end-to-end encryption across every device is the perfect partner for enterprises looking to strengthen their cybersecurity posture and protect enterprise data, intellectual property and compliance.

Lesson 4: More employee cybersecurity training is needed

During the pandemic it became clear that organizations needed to step up efforts to educate employees on best practices for security hygiene. In particular, enterprises found that they needed to educate employees on the security risks of using unsecure consumer-grade messaging apps like WhatsApp for collaboration and the importance of using only corporate sanctioned, end-to-end encrypted collaboration tools for digital business interactions.

Use of unsecure messaging and conferencing apps left many organizations open to significant security and compliance risks. A Messaging At Work Report found that usage of non-regulated consumer messaging apps is common in the workplace with 50% of respondents indicating they use these apps for mobile work communications. The report also found that employees are using these consumer-grade messaging apps to share a range of potentially sensitive business information with 29% of respondents indicating they share documents and 25% saying they share contacts including personal details like phone numbers.

Key takeaway: Enterprises need solutions that ensure employees can communicate and collaborate productively without compromising data security. This is where a company-authorized, secure mobile messaging platform like NetSfere can help. NetSfere not only features similar functionality to popular consumer-grade collaboration platforms including messaging, voice and video calling, group communications, and encryption but incorporates capabilities focused on business needs, such as guest access, remote wipe, archiving, collaboration, and centralized administration. NetSfere brings together the ultimate combination of collaboration, productivity, security and compliance that is unmatched when compared to third-party consumer messaging services.

These lessons learned call for strong security postures that build enterprise cyber resiliency – they call for a solution like NetSfere.

Contact us today to apply these lessons learned to secure enterprise communication and collaboration.

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