Security recommendations for 2020 and beyond: What to focus on

What strategies will help improve your security programs this year and beyond?
Written by Forrester Research, Contributor

Our team of security and risk analysts spent the past few months brainstorming and curating tactical and strategic advice designed to improve your security programs for 2020 and beyond... and then along came the COVID-19 global pandemic. In the midst of this, firms are undergoing a shuffle of priorities to accommodate a new normal, including work-at-home protocols and changing economic conditions. But no matter the current stress, history assures us that we will recover, and when we do, the rest of the challenges will still be there waiting for us. 

Even before COVID-19 changed our priorities, we themed 2020 recommendations around preparing for externalities (those threats that are out of our direct control). Some of the recommendations for 2020 are that you: 

  • Make pandemic risk planning part of your new normal. Very few companies were ready for COVID-19. Implement any security measures you had to make on an emergency basis in a more permanent way to implement work-from-home thinking. Recovery will likely be staged with frequent or even permanent working from home for employees. And augment your pandemic risk management metrics to include more than the number of positive tests. This will help you identify and react to flare-ups should they occur.
  • Prioritize product security to gain a competitive differentiator. More product launches mean additional complex attack surfaces for the security pros to cover. To de-silo yourself in these efforts, push product security as a differentiator that can drive new business. 
  • Adapt to climate change. Map out which risks pose the most imminent threats and follow that with a business impact analysis to understand short- and long-term impacts. This will enable business longevity against harsh climate conditions, help the firm align with the regulatory environment, and keep the company attractive to increasingly climate-conscious consumers. 
  • Evaluate your third parties as a cascading risk. As third parties become more integral to your value chain, and as highlighted by COVID-19, it's imperative to acknowledge their vulnerabilities and how to mitigate the risk. Start by cataloging your third-party relationships, implementing fifth- and sixth-party governance, and managing access of third parties to your systems as part of your Zero Trust strategy. 

While adapting to the new normal, be visionary, as well: Look beyond the immediate crisis and incorporate the long view into your annual planning initiatives.  

This post was written by Principal Analyst Sandy Carielli, and it originally appeared here

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