Cyber risks in the new reality

30 December 2020


In the past, it was widely misconceived that cybersecurity should only be a concern for larger companies and organizations. The increasing number of cyberattacks on small- and medium-sized enterprises as well as on individual ordinary has forced companies to realize rather abruptly that cybersecurity is not a matter of a few but of all. Consequently, security has reached a point where it is considered a strategic investment choice rather than a matter of technological development.

In early 2020, several companies had already turned their attention to digital transformation, 45-65% of which have completed it. The digital transformation brought along several new challenges to which past tactics had to be adjusted, thus creating the need for a new strong cybersecurity strategy. At this technological juncture, companies and organizations worldwide have been called upon to accelerate their digital transformation and face a whole new reality, that of the pandemic.

Given the two apparent cybersecurity fronts, the following question arises:

“In an ever-changing technological landscape where the focus lies on building business resilience and the successful completion of digital transformation, which cyber threats must be addressed?”

With previous cyber dangers still lingering, the Covid-19 era forces executives around the world to address three new challenges:


1. Remote Working

Human error is still a common cause of system failure. Although, over time, users are increasingly informed, how malicious attacks are carried out has evolved considerably. According to the Acronis Cyber Readiness Report 2020, the transition to remote working has increased this risk. In particular, 49.7% of respondents stated that securing how remote employees work was one of the biggest challenges. Therefore, data protection and recovery applications such as Αcronis Cloud Backup have become indispensable for businesses. Simultaneously, 25.1% of IT managers have to address cyber risks pertaining to installing uncertified software on employee equipment.

92% of organizations worldwide have adopted new applications and methods for a smooth transition to the work-from-home (WFH) model. As part of these changes, and aiming for high-security levels, 52.1% of the respondents set up secure connections using VPNs and encryption. Moreover, 46.9% of the respondents complement these measures with endpoint cybersecurity solutions such as antivirus and 2-Factor Authentication.

2. Seamless operation of critical security operations

With WFH now mandatory, IT managers tip the scales for cybersecurity teams towards further process automation and sufficient monitoring. The proposed action plans revolve around three core operations: risk identification, process automation, and monitoring. Periodic processes, such as backing up all organization data, are among the most popular choices of IT managers for the transition from manual to automatic processes.

Ensuring business continuity remains a crucial challenge in the Covid-19 era. The temporary absence of staff from the workplace further reinforces the need for solutions that protect business operation continuity. This is evidenced by the increasing use of cloud-based applications during 2020, with solutions, such as Acronis DRaaS (disaster recovery as a service) topping the list.


3. Malicious attacks

According to the Acronis Cyber Readiness Report 2020, 31% of businesses are attacked at least once in 24 hours. The risk of malicious attacks remains high in the challenges that companies and organizations face. The acceleration of digital transformation and the working model’s disruption due to the pandemic inevitably left companies vulnerable to malicious attacks. As already mentioned, one of the most common vulnerabilities is the use of equipment by employees, forcing companies to invest in security software, backup and disaster recovery, as well as in staff training to minimize the chances of human error.

Risk management is a dynamic process, dependant on technological and social developments. Implementing a strategy for shielding and dealing with cyber threats, in addition to necessary, is now possible at an affordable cost and with scalability capabilities in line with the needs of every company.

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