Insights from the Rethinking Cybersecurity In Today’s Digital Age Webinar

The COVID-19 pandemic caused security implications for enterprise companies that nobody saw coming. With entire workforces moving to remote work, many organizations had to rethink their cybersecurity strategies. The pandemic alone brought a 63% increase in cyber attacks. 

Going forward, the entire landscape of cybersecurity has changed and many companies are realizing that now is the time to act so they don’t end up with a breach like the SolarWinds cyber attack in 2020.

In a recent webinar, Gabe Dalporto, CEO of Udacity, had a conversation with Frederic Kerrest, Executive Vice Chairman, COO & Co-Founder of Okta, about the current cybersecurity landscape.

Keep reading for the top three takeaways from the Rethinking Cybersecurity in Today’s Digital Age webinar with Okta.

There Is a Huge Need for Cybersecurity Developers

Security breaches are a constant threat to any company that houses data. The increase in cyber attacks since the COVID-19 pandemic has only made the need to take cybersecurity seriously even more dire.

Unfortunately, many companies — especially smaller companies that use technology but aren’t fully tech companies — are struggling to hire enough developers with cybersecurity skills to fill the gaps.

In the Rethinking Cybersecurity in Today’s Digital Age webinar, Kerrest mentioned that there is currently a shortage of 300,000 developers in North America, while there are only 30,000 new engineering graduates from colleges ready to join the workforce every year. 

As technology grows over the years, that gap will only widen. “That means fundamentally,” Kerrest  says, “most companies who are not software development shops at their core, who have other businesses (it could be a manufacturing, financial services, pharmaceuticals, medical), are not going to get all the software developers they need.”

The solution that Kerrest sees is to help skill workers at scale, like Udacity does. Educating people, not just on how to combat data breaches, but also on how to identify and mitigate security threats before they become a problem.

Prioritizing Security Must Start in the Boardroom

The boardroom is the stronghold of an organization. It is where decisions are made that affect the entire company and can have a huge impact on its future. The COVID-19 pandemic not only forced many boardrooms to rethink the way their organizations were structured, but also brought about an onslaught of cybersecurity attacks. 
All of this together shows that taking security threats seriously and making meaningful change must happen at the executive level.

“How we can educate [executive] level folks in large organizations and the government on the importance of risk posture, on understanding their security options, on where they are today and where they need to go?” Kerrest asks. “I think that’s something that’s incumbent upon all of us because frankly, it’s going to impact all of us.”

It’s not an easy problem to tackle, but the consequences, especially when thinking of a possible data breach in the government, are massive. Kerrest says the solution is to ensure leadership across industries are having regular discussions about cybersecurity.

Creating the Right Data Tools Will Help Security and Innovation

Innovation, while also keeping security at the top of mind, is a challenge. The traditional way of building software often kept security work as an afterthought, but with the increase in security breaches, that is no longer an option.

While building with security in mind is already difficult for big tech companies, smaller companies without a large fleet of engineers focused solely on cybersecurity risk falling behind the competition. Kerrest says the best answer is to create tools and templates that help make security best practices, like Zero Trust Security, easy to adopt.

“I think that the more we can put in the right people process systems and the right data tools,” says Kerrest, “and then provide the templates for people to properly implement, the better off we’re all going to be.”

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