At the outbreak of COVID-19 we saw a mass exodus from the office, and seemingly overnight companies around the world had to readjust their priorities to deal with the new threatscape.
Yet, despite the vulnerabilities caused by the pandemic, one of the biggest security concerns moving into 2021 is not actually to do with the pandemic.
State-sponsored attacks are becoming increasingly common and more sophisticated, with Microsoft finding activity from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea is on the rise. When you consider the fallout from the WannaCry attack or, more recently, the attack on the Kudankulam nuclear plant, it’s clear this kind of espionage has the potential to cause real damage as political tensions escalate. This means physical and cyber security vendors need to be doing everything to ensure no back-doors into networks. From cameras to access control, we need to be on alert.
The US restrictions on high-risk vendors are already having knock-on effects in other markets. We’re seeing companies unable to operate in the US investing tremendous amounts of resources in Europe. As a result, the European market has been flooded with state-of-the-art technology at rock bottom prices – leaving competitors unable to keep up. But this raises the question – if profit isn’t the motive, what is?
Even if you disregard the inherent vulnerabilities of Chinese technologies, there are other practicalities to consider. If more governments were to follow the United States’ stance and impose bans, it would leave organisations using the technology out of pocket and defenceless.
Moving into 2021, organisations must be proactive and bring a new level of scrutiny to the risks associated with the technologies they deploy.
Country Manager, UK&I