10 security changes post-COVID-19

CISOs must anticipate burgeoning needs for distributed security scale, intelligence, and self-service.

Back in March, I heard from several CISOs about how COVID-19 was disrupting their cybersecurity programs and changing their priorities.  A few weeks later, I connected with some CISO friends, and got an update on phase 2 of their pandemic journeys

While no one knows when the coronavirus impact will end, we are getting a good perspective on what the new normal will look like.  Here are ten changes I anticipate (in no particular order):

1. Work from home (WFH) becomes the default model. This one is an obvious assumption, but one we can back up with data: According to ESG research, 79% of IT executives say that their organization will be more flexible about WFH policies after the pandemic subsides.  Furthermore, WFH seems to be, well, working: 78% of knowledge workers report being either more productive working from home or having no change in productivity.  Between productivity gains and real estate savings, WFH is a winner — and is driving lots of changes to security investment and priorities.

2. Any remnant of a security perimeter is now dead. When I started in security nearly 20 years ago, a group of financial services companies started an organization called the Jericho Forum, which pitched the concept of de-perimeterization.  While most security professionals agreed with the idea, scaling security remained a challenge, so network perimeters remained and changed slowly over time.  COVID-19 may be the final security perimeter coffin nail.  To support a more distributed IT infrastructure, security controls will move wholesale to endpoints — users, devices, applications, data, etc.  The good news is that cloud-based management planes will make this architecture much easier to scale and operate than in the past.  What are the new perimeters?  Users and devices (i.e., identities) and data. 

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