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The Era of Covid-19: A Cybersecurity Renaissance
By Migo Kedem
Migo Kedem is a security leader who built endpoint security products like Checkpoint endpoint protection, Traps by Palo Alto Networks, and the Singularity platform by SentinelOne. He created and leads SentinelLabs, the security division of SentinelOne and leads SentinelOne's growth initiatives.
So many aspects of our lives have changed since the last time we met. The way we work has changed: we spend more time with our families [or alone], connecting remotely to what used to be our offices. We've saved time on commuting, postponed work trips, and adopted an entirely new working environment.
The trend of gradually digitizing our lives went into overdrive in the last 18 months. We shop online, chat online, and store our most personal and private information online. We trust more enterprises and supply chains than ever before to keep all this safe.
In parallel, cybercrime and nation state attacks have become a staple of daily news. We've seen the democratization of ransomware, bringing more criminals into the dance of cybercrime. The explosion of the dark web and cryptocurrency has made it easier to get away with ransomware and extortion. Prior to the pandemic, organizations thought they just needed better backups, but criminals have changed their tactics and payouts have increased to the point of forcing market changes. Organizations are now realizing they need better cybersecurity.
We've also seen how supply chain attacks are capable of exploiting software widely used in the public and the private sectors. Threat actors utilize zero days to penetrate organizations en masse, including energy pipelines, food supply chains and other critical infrastructure. And for the most part, cybercriminals are getting away with it.
A Defender's Perspective
From a defender's point of view, all this is not a pretty sight. Too many organizations still use old technology that cannot cope with the level of sophistication that everyday threat actors are throwing at them. We see governments conducting attacks for monetary gain, to influence elections, to further agendas, and to create damage without the need to fire a single shot. We have not so much slipped as dived head first into the age of 'Warfare in the Fifth Domain'.
Where Do We Go From Here?
There are few things that can be done to swing the pendulum back in favour of the defenders.
- Stop considering security as a liability, but as part of business operations - cybersecurity is now an asset and should be viewed as a competitive advantage for any firm in any industry in any geography
- Do not wait. The cost of a security breach is much higher than the cost of deploying the right technology
- Involve C-Suite decision makers in the dilemmas of securing your business. Educated leaders can take a more security-minded approach to every decision they are involved with. Knowledge is power and too many cybersecurity professionals are left to fight alone.
Being "Better today" is much better than "Perfect in the far future". Every house can be broken into. With that said, malicious actors tend to look for the easy way in (some would call it laziness). Don't be that weak point. If you are better than most organizations, you are increasing your chances of staying out of the news and defending your organization's data.