Why COVID-19 will change identity management forever

Large job losses, more people working from home, and an increased use of freelancers and consultants are forcing companies to rethink their access control models.

The COVID-19 crisis has created an awful state of affairs--people’s livelihoods and hard work taken by an invisible foe. As companies cut their workforce to cope with the impact of the coronavirus, the specter of cyberattacks stands on the horizon looking for trouble. Cyber threats both malicious and accidental are at the heart of this, and access control to business data may be the key to recovery. Can our identity and access management (IAM) systems contain these threats?

Why COVID-19 caused a perfect security storm

The main reason behind the spike in security issues during the pandemic is that cybercriminals are, first and foremost, scammers who understand human behavior better than any behavioral scientist. Cybercriminals looked at the pandemic, saw an opportunity, and jumped on it.

Ever since, a perfect storm has been brewing:

Lost jobs: Job losses due to the pandemic are massive and will continue to happen. The World Economic Forum (WEF) reported in May this year that G7 job losses ranged from 30 million in the US to 1.7 million in Japan. WEF expects in Q2 of 2020 to see around 305 million full-time jobs lost worldwide to the COVID-19 pandemic. When employees leave, they are more likely to cause data breaches, according to a study by The Hague Delta. The researchers found that 89% of employees who leave an organization have continued access to company data, increasing the risk of a data breach.

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