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Cyber for the autumn of COVID: a three-part series

Blog: Capgemini CTO Blog

This blog is organized as a three-part series.  Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion!

Well, autumn is here. The kids are back in school, and it’s time to settle down to another season of work and family. Right? Oh yeah, except that the kids’ school is online from the kitchen table, and the office is the back room where the air conditioning doesn’t work very well. At least the weather is getting cooler. But that means flu season is coming, too …

I think we can all agree that this year has been an unprecedented experience for literally billions of people all around the world. While the handling of the coronavirus in different regions and different countries have varied greatly, very few people have been untouched by the effects of COVID-19 and governments’ efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

At work, most of us have seen firsthand significant shifts in how we work and collaborate, including the curtailing of business travel, dramatic increases in telework, and online meetings replacing in-person meetings for much of our coordination. Less obviously, we have seen “legacy” paper-based processes stressed by the need for telework, and urgently replaced with online processes wherever possible. The exciting thing here is that thanks to the digitization of the past three decades, many aspects of business have been able to continue operating, even while municipalities have been under quarantine and lockdown.  This is pretty remarkable, all things considered.

Just thirty years ago, operating a business where everyone was sitting at home and working remotely, would have been virtually impossible.

So what do we need to start worrying about, cyber-wise, now that this long, weird summer is coming to an end? In this three blog series, we will look at how COVID-19 has changed IT this past year, how it is shaping the cyber landscape for 2021, and present six key takeaways for 2021 cyber planning.

To start in this consideration, it helps to look back on the past six months and how our IT and cyber postures have shifted to respond to these extraordinary circumstances.   In response to COVID, businesses have had to quickly vacate their offices, transform their collaboration, adjust their business models, control their costs, and shift their product and service offerings to the market. IT has been at the center of many of these transformations.

ComputerWorld identifies that COVID-19 drove IT to quickly deliver on capability improvements including: “video conferencing, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), firewalls, network monitoring, communications systems, and collaboration tools.”  ComputerWorld reports that these efforts peaked in March and April, and then “the focus shifted dramatically to security by June, after the initial efforts to respond to the crisis were in place.”

Capgemini observes that the combination of services moving online along with employees working from home combined to dramatically increase the number of cyberattacks against organizations’ IT infrastructures. Even relatively low-tech businesses, such as retail sales, have had to embrace online technologies for employee coordination, customer outreach, and services including appointment scheduling, curbside pickup, and regulatory coordination. This pattern can be summarized as follows:

Come back soon for Parts 2 and 3, where we turn this context into actionable guidance for your 2021 planning and beyond!

To learn more about how you can better secure your organization in today’s environment watch Navigating disruption: new truths in cyber webinar on-demand

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