Demystifying the Role of Security Leadership During COVID-19

by August 6, 2020


What role security leaders play to manage organizational workflows during and post the pandemic?

There is no wonder that the outbreak of COVID-19 has deeply impacted every aspect of business and put organizations at standstill. In uncertain situations like the ongoing crisis, the role of leaders, especially security leaders, becomes crucial when it comes to leading change. They have the potential to deal with any situation as they learn from that and make effective decisions and take appropriate actions for their business. A security leader within an organization oversees business operations closely while preparing for the prospect of risk.

They might be confronted with an increasing number of questions, whether from internal people, administration, or customers. Security leaders must respond to those queries to enable business continuity and deliver effective decision-making to ensure cybersecurity risks. During the crisis induced by COVID-19, their responsibilities extend even further, making them to focus on threats that are likely introduced by networked devices and personal devices connected at work and home alike.


COVID-19 Accelerates the Need of Security Leaders

Since the pandemic has deeply impacted businesses around the world, it has also led a unique set of cyberattacks. According to a survey, as of April 2020, 41 percent of respondents witnessed at least one cyberattack related to COVID-19 in the last 12 months. Moreover, 96 percent of respondents have developed response strategies to the pandemic, while 75 percent of business and security leaders acknowledged their COVID-19 response strategies are only somewhat aligned.

Undeniably, the threat of cybersecurity has been fuelled over the last few years. And this is disrupting not only daily business operations, but also hurting an organization’s reputation. The increasing reliance on digital infrastructure, adapting to the work from home business model and adopting local technologies are majorly creating an attack surface and enabling access to these technologies and devices for malicious actors. This paradigm shift is putting immense pressure on cybersecurity leaders to safeguard their businesses and workers in the time of crisis.

As cybercriminals are often in search of exploiting user devices, critical business assets, and functions during the COVID-19 pandemic are significantly more exposed. This is not only giving the opportunity to cybercriminal organizations, but also nation-states to exploit vulnerabilities and plant malware and ransomware type of threats for future attacks. IT services and healthcare among others are the most vulnerable sector to these attacks.

Moreover, cybersecurity is not a fiduciary responsibility or challenge for only the security leaders and IT teams, rather, this is the accountability of the entire organization to step up activity and communications to build a strong culture of security. Cybersecurity leadership plays a significant role by establishing clear and trustworthy communication, bringing all members, from C-suite level to lower-level staff within a company, on a similar table. Subsequently, they listen to everyone’s outlook on a particular situation and develop a strategy based on that to ensure the security of the organization.