Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic has changed the landscape when it comes to the workplace. More people are working from home, some permanently, which creates a precarious cybersecurity situation. As more employees are moved out of the corporate office, more attack vectors have opened up to cybercriminals. A new way of protecting these networks is needed.
At a recent roundtable discussion with industry executives, Cloudflare COO Michelle Zatlyn told Business Insider that 10 years from now, cybersecurity will look nothing like it does now. Instead, it will work more like a "water filtration system."
"I have a point of view that cybersecurity is going to be a thing of the past the next decade because I think technology is going to solve those problems," said the Cloudflare exec. "You're going to get to a point where it's almost like the water treatment filtration systems: If you're connected to the Internet, you're going to connect through a cybersecurity network like Cloudflare or some others. And we're going to cleanse it and make sure whatever's passing through us is clean."
The idea is to eliminate the bad actors before they have a chance to act or at least earlier in their attacks.
The impetus for the change is partly because of the spike in cybercrime seen since more employees started working from home. Currently, the majority of cybersecurity measures companies employ consist of in-house hardware and software solutions to protect a single location. As workers spread out, protecting corporate networks becomes more difficult, creating a need for a different approach.
"All sudden [sic] everyone's at home, and so people are connecting and doing work online from new places," Zatlyn said. "What you're seeing along with that is a large increase in the number of cyberattacks, which is sad, but it's true: They're using the fact that employees are working at home, not on their corporate networks, as a weak link to go and attack."
Cloudflare believes cloud security systems are the answer. Applying a "user-first" approach, remote workers can pass through cybersecurity solutions in the cloud before connecting to the corporate network.
Other members on the panel agreed that this is a sensible approach to the changing workplace landscape. These solutions will allow service providers to detect whether users are authentic or imposters—something most corporate networks are currently ill-equipped to handle effectively.
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