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article imageThe impact of COVID-19 on cybersecurity Special

By Tim Sandle     May 10, 2020 in Technology
The COVID-19 outbreak has threatened to overload IT systems and the global economy. It's also having a powerful impact on the security of businesses and individuals alike. Collibra CSIO Myke Lyons explains more.
With more people remote working and IT departments under stretch due to budgets, being away from the office themselves, and due to sickness, this has created an unbalanced playing field in favor of hackers. To gain an insight into the challenges faced by businesses, Digital Journal caught up with Myke Lyons, CISO at data intelligence company Collibra.
Lyons unravels the cybersecurity impact of COVID-19 from where we were, where we are and where we’re headed..
Digital Journal: Can we begin with where we were?
Lyons: Earlier this year, the state of online security was in flux because companies have been rapidly moving to the cloud and to SaaS specifically. However, in the past several weeks, there’s been a shift in urgency toward security — from something we have to do to something we have to do right now, whether we are ready for it or not. There has been a push to move faster — and that requires a new way of thinking.
The digital economy is increasing massively and maybe not every organization is ready for that level of adoption.
DJ: How about where we are?
Lyons: Security for an organization is contextual. A data technology company is going to have different security requirements than a finance company and a government contractor. We all have our own priorities. But we need to start thinking that every company is a technology company. As companies scale up their digital presence, they will have to move faster than they planned for, and the risk is that security is one step behind. It may be tempting to sacrifice security for usability in the short term, but it won’t be worth it in the long run when you step into a mess. And with this comes education - we are all under new emotional stresses and that causes people to react in ways they normally wouldn’t.
We've lost the ‘water cooler’ security control.
DJ: And where we're going?
Lyons: A secure company is one in which all the smart people work together to collectively build and focus on securing the organization.
The idea of zero trust essentially uses our digital profiles to recognize that we are who we say we are. This is a big change we’re going to see coming, and it will allow companies to authenticate their employees from anywhere. Once a day, you’ll have to jump through that hoop that’s on fire.
But that’s it, and the rest of the day you’re in and you can do your job. I don’t know if organizations are taking security more seriously, but now people are thinking about their day a little differently. Everyone is more aware of what is going on around them. One thing that is clear is that cybersecurity is moving from the shadows to take a front seat in our daily lives.
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