Global pandemics occur mercifully infrequently, but when they do, the impact they cause is invariably significant, disrupting operations in the short term while also influencing how businesses behave in the months and years that follow.
COVID-19 has been no exception. New EY research reveals that the pandemic has caused widespread disruption in cybersecurity operations and is expected to have significant impact on strategies, investments and future priorities.
Remote-working has been a particular issue, and incidents of phishing and other threats are on the rise. Larger corporations have been able to ride out the storm more comfortably than mid-size companies, especially those in the US, and most CTOs expect budgets to be affected one way or another as the full risk impact is assessed.
Data privacy continues to be a major cause of concern, not only within businesses but also among consumers who distrust governments and major corporations with their personal data.
The friction and occasional disconnect between CTOs and CISOs previously identified in this year’s Global Information Security Survey (February 2020), and the need for much closer collaboration with the Board, is once again highlighted in this latest report. CTOs appear to have been more greatly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak than CISOs, and CISOs appear to have fewer budget concerns moving forward.
It is a mixed picture, but what most leaders seem to be agreed on is that day-to-day security operations have been disrupted, almost a third (29%) saying significantly so. Remote-working support was the biggest challenge (71%), followed by budget restrictions (41%), network overload (40%) and reduced staffing levels (37%).