Secure World Map
28 April 2020

The New Status Quo & Post-COVID Expectations

Jennifer Bennett

As governments and companies around the world begin their plans for the future after Shelter in Place, a return to physical offices requires serious thought not only for protecting the health of employees, but minimizing security risks as well.   

Today’s environment is evolving and as security needs arise it’s always important to be one step ahead. We’ve all prepared for work from home (WFH) and settled in quite efficiently from minimizing security risks with the use of VDIs, to VPNs, and communicating via secure messaging platforms. 

With new technology, comes a new attack surface. Assets that were once protected by firewalls but are now commonly accessed via VPNs are fresh targets for malicious actors. These assets are often under-tested for their current levels of exposure and hold new security risks.   

Here at Synack, we envision the post-COVID office will likely be more virtual than it was before. Synack is diligently working with our customers to build secure businesses that can withstand the challenges and changes to come. We asked our crowd of security experts and executives what they expect the future to look like. Here’s what the Synack crowd expects to see: 

  • Prediction #1 — Testing for Continuity: As we look to the future, we’ll find renewed interest in continuity planning. Organizations will not only educate employees, but also continuously be seeking out and mitigating risk in growing attack surfaces.
  • Prediction #2 — Proof: Trust and auditability will be non-negotiable. As organizations look ahead, working with security vendors that help them prove their security and auditability in real time is as important as ever.
  • Prediction #3 —Data-Driven Decisions: Security will be a business enabler. With a renewed reliance on security for business continuity, security teams will have an opportunity to demonstrate their business impact if they can quantify their security results and performance.
  • Prediction #4 —  Scale: Increased (and faster) adoption of digital infrastructure will cause attack surfaces to increase proportionally. Companies will have to scale security at the pace of digital expansion as remote-friendly technologies (virtual meeting capabilities, more cloud apps, virtual collaboration, IoT, touch-free access) are rolled out.
  • Prediction #5 —  Leading with Security: Security teams and CISOs will be called upon to lead an organization through the various phases of returning to work. They will, as leaders, need to rapidly articulate security scenarios and be two, if not three, steps ahead. 

Along with the predictions of what to expect for the future, for now working from home (WFH) is still the status quo and continues to present itself with challenges. This naturally leads to an abundance of “bring your own device” (BYOD) as employees draw on their trusted personal devices. Tune in next week as we share our thoughts around BYOD in today’s COVID-19 environment and rules to keep in mind. 

Our roundup of favorite ‘Future Office’ stories from around the web:

World Economic Forum: 10 ways COVID-19 could change office design

Fast Company: Our offices will never be the same after COVID-19. Here’s what they could look like

ZDNet: Could COVID-19 change the look of the office as we know it?