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Prediction: Work from home will challenge security in 2021 (Includes interview)

One of the consequences of the disruption that the coronavirus pandemic reaped onto businesses was the necessity for scores of office based workers to undertake remote working. At first this was seen as a temporary move, now many companies, citing efficiencies and office cost savings, as seeing home working as part and parcel of businesses life.

However, remote working brings challenges. Making some predictions for 2021 for Digital Journal is Jamil Jaffer, IronNet’s SVP for Strategy, Partnerships & Corporate Development and former WH executive.

According to Jaffer remote working presents greater opportunities for exploitation by cyber-criminals. He explains that: “We will see continued exploitation of the work-from-home COVID environment over the next year. From a prevention and detection perspective, the amount of vulnerabilities created by this new environment will be very concerning to cyber operations in every enterprise, large or small.”

In terms of what to expect during the course of 2021, Jaffer states: “I expect we’ll see a significant portion of corporate infrastructure being effectively targeted by malware and unauthorized access through the additional access points created by the new environment.”

Given that many disruptions will come from rogue states, businesses need to cognizant as to the threats: “Though I don’t anticipate significant intentional destructive activity to result outside of a major nation-state level conflict, it is certainly possible that there may be potentially significant competitive implications and the like as more information, particularly related to sensitive intellectual property, continues to walk out the back door.”

Jaffer concludes by saying that cybersecurity professionals and business leaders will need to study the events of 2021 in detail. This is “because we are still fairly early in this massive infrastructure shift, next year will be very illuminating on how this new threat environment impacts key industries with critical information (i.e. financial services, energy, healthcare, and the government to name a few) where the highest level of (and most intense) attacks typically occur.”

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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