For better or worse, 2020 has been a big year for cybersecurity. Remote work is the new normal, requiring new processes and access-point protections. State-sponsored hacks have hit a fever pitch. Zero trust security is becoming standard.
Even if you’ve done a cybersecurity audit recently, you can’t rest on your laurels. Cybercriminals are counting on your complacency.
What’s changed, and how does it affect your business? These five cybersecurity trends are on the rise:
1. SIEM Is Getting a Dose of Automation
Security information and event management — often called “SIEM” — systems have been around for years. But until recently, actually doing anything about SIEM alerts required a state-of-the-art data security team.
Although security orchestration and response may never be truly hands-free, an approach pioneered by firms like StratoZen called SOAR security gets close. Short for “security orchestration, automation, and response,” SOAR automatically triages and blocks certain threats before they result in a breach.
To understand SOAR, think of your IT department as a football team. A security alert is the ball. Your SIEM software confines this threat to a single “field.” Then, your SOAR system forms a defensive line, preventing cybercriminals from scoring. Your linemen know most of the plays themselves, but you, as the coach, can always step in if more resources are needed.
2. Two-Factor Authentication Is Becoming Universal
If you have a Gmail account or mobile banking, you’ve used two-factor authentication. As IoT devices become more common and more money is managed online, it’s rapidly becoming standard.
Two-factor authentication is a method of verifying your identity in two ways: with something you know (a password) as well as something you have (such as a smartphone or token).Once you input your password correctly, the website or application asks for a unique code sent to your device.
Two-factor authentication can go a long way toward protecting your company’s data. You don’t have to be a tech wizard to take advantage of it, either: You can enable it in most of the applications your business already uses, such as Dropbox, Slack, Square, and most social media apps.
3. Remote Employees Are Using VPNs
With so many people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, many small businesses are starting to sweat about security risks. They’re using virtual private networks to mitigate the dangers posed by unsecured Wi-Fi networks and public hotspots.
The advantage of a VPN is that it creates a private, secure connection by encrypting user data. A VPN can allow your remote workers to securely access company databases or applications hosted on the local network — just as though they were in the office.
4. Smart Speakers Are Being Recognized as Security Risks
More and more people have a smart speaker in their home. Since their introduction, smart speaker-related horror stories have spread like wildfire.
One feature that makes smart speakers problematic is that Amazon and Google store voice-command records in the cloud, according to ConsumerWatchdog.org. These records can be accessed via the user’s account; if an employee’s smartphone fell into the wrong hands, they could be stolen.
With so many people now working from home, a lot of companies are asking their workers to turn off their smart speakers. Why take the risk of sensitive data winding up in the cloud?
The COVID-19 crisis illuminated new security threats and shined a spotlight on old ones. While it can be scary to think about a potential breach, you’re far from powerless. Keep a tab on these trends, and take every cyberthreat you spot seriously.