Business Security

Covid-19, cloud and cybersecurity: Key learnings from the Avast Business Cloud Security Summit

Lindsey Pyle, 7 October 2020

Virtual event featuring Avast executives, customers, and industry experts now available for replay

Last month, we (virtually) gathered our executives, customers, and industry experts for the first-ever Avast Business Cloud Security Summit to discuss the cybersecurity implications of the coronavirus pandemic.

Those on the front lines of digital transformation shared their perspectives on securely transitioning to the cloud and how Avast is delivering on its mission to protect small businesses around the world from cyberattacks. In case you missed it, the entire event is available for replay online now. Here’s a quick summary of what you’ll learn:

Flexible work is here to stay

During the executive panel, moderator Matthew Ball, chief analyst at Canalys, said, “Work is no longer a place or time; it is an outcome.” He and Avast CEO Ondrej Vlcek agreed that even when we beat the pandemic, the workforce will remain decentralized and location-independent as businesses become fully remote or adapt hybrid models. In fact, according to Canalys estimates, only 20 percent of employees are expected to return to an office full-time.

With employees connecting to corporate networks from virtually anywhere, cybersecurity risks have increased significantly

Cybercriminals don’t rest in times of crisis — they take advantage of it. Since the beginning of lockdown, the Avast threat intelligence team has observed a significant increase in cyberthreats against businesses and consumers, particularly in the realm of social engineering, which has more than doubled. Ransomware, which has the potential to literally drain a target’s bank account, is up 25 percent year-over-year since March. Plus, countless Covid-related scams and fake apps continue to run rampant like a bad game of whack-a-mole. These categories of cyberattacks are compounded by the inherent risk of accessing corporate assets via shared or public Wi-Fi networks as employees embrace the new normal of working from anywhere.

Organizations must be agile in their cybersecurity strategy

Avast CISO Jaya Baloo said it best: “A good cybersecurity strategy evolves to meet the changing landscape in which it functions.” To achieve this, businesses must first look inward to understand and define what they need to protect, and from whom. With this awareness, you will not only have better visibility and risk intelligence, but also the speed to detect and respond in real-time. She also recommends establishing allies and partners to strengthen security capabilities and future-proof your business so that you’re not in this race alone. And even after all that, accept that things will change yet again, and prepare accordingly.

“Digital transformation” isn’t just a buzzword anymore, and the IT channel is pertinent to its success

The pandemic has accelerated businesses’ transition to the cloud while shifting IT resources and budget priorities accordingly. From healthcare adopting telemedicine to classrooms behind a computer screen, users need seamless access to their infrastructure and assets to get their job done properly. Organizations that once mapped their digital strategy against one- or three-year plans are now faced with the challenge of scaling their initiatives in a matter of weeks or even days. This presents a monumental opportunity for channel partners, who can offer expertise as well as right-sized, subscription-based solutions that not only reduce cost, but ultimately improve the overall user experience. 

Avast is here to help

We consider our reseller and service provider partners to be a critical element of our own success, and even before the pandemic have been doubling down on sales enablement. We have improved our small business security offerings to ease the transition to the cloud: Avast Business Secure Internet Gateway, a cloud-based, next-gen firewall, and the recently announced Avast Business Secure Private Access, which enables zero-trust access to cloud-based applications.

Of all the presentations and discussions throughout the two-day summit, the line that sticks with me most came from Ondrej Vlcek. He told attendees, “If there’s one lesson in 2020 for us all, I believe it is how resilient and adaptable we all are.” By partnering with Avast, small businesses can rest assured that their network, employees, and ultimately their bottom line will remain just that. 

Re-watch all of the sessions or request a consultation with Avast Business at avastcloudsummit.com