COVID-19’s Silver Security Lining

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The need for cybersecurity has existed since the dawn of the personal computer, and the pandemic has brought about a heightened awareness of document and data safety. With new breaches reported daily, locking down confidential data is essential to the flow of information across remote locations.

“As the world has had to connect remotely to everything instead of being all in the same room, there are increased security needs and security awareness. Awareness is the big takeaway for me,” said HaystackID CISO John Wilson, who participated in the panel, “WFH Cybersecurity Risk Management from Legal, Business and IT Perspectives” during Legalweek.

Novel pandemic-age phenomena elevate security awareness. For example, a year ago, no one even thought about Zoom bombing, or the long list of new developments brought about by COVID. 2020 was the first year in corporate history that anyone with a computer could jump into a company’s confidential conversations because they figured out that they could access meetings by loading Zoom with random nine digit codes. 

“People always said ‘Yeah, I know that we need security in place but that’s the IT department. They worry about those things. I don’t have to worry about those things.’” said Wilson. “Now everybody in the organization is realizing they can’t have people jumping into their confidential meetings about their secret sauce and how they’re going to roll it out for later this year.”

Companies may not be used to having electronic records in place of hard copies. As a result, they may not have document retention policies and plans that pertain to electronic documents and good cyber hygiene. In the mass WFH age, we are starting to see that change.

The pandemic has created conditions that have ravaged the data and security of so many companies. While this is tragic for the victims of data breaches, these events are shaping a culture around cybersecurity that fans out across the entire corporate world. 

Companies whose poor cyber hygiene was exploited by the pandemic will now be much less likely to repeat mistakes. Companies around the world who are watching the fallout are becoming far more vigilant.

This is part of a series based on the Legalweek 2021 Panel, WFH Cybersecurity Risk Management from a Legal, Business and IT Perspective. Watch the full talk here.