Over the last several years, technology has slowly integrated itself into increasingly larger aspects of everyday life. Flash forward over a year into a global pandemic, and the internet has gone from a technology we all use in our daily lives to the medium through which many of us live our lives in the blink of an eye! Many of us finally see a light at the end of the tunnel thanks to the incredible COVID-19 vaccine progress. But many of the advances that have been made over the past year will stay with us for decades.
Looking forward, concerts, schooling, holidays, and all aspects of public gathering may be going back to normal soon, but that doesn’t mean everything is going to revert back to the way it was. The sudden, dire and seemingly overnight need of industries to run their business entirely online has pushed encryption innovation to new heights in order to meet this new demand. What at first seemed like adaptations to tip-toe around pandemic-enforced limitations, such as telehealth operations or Zoom video chatting, have now become ingrained and valuable parts of life.
Healthcare encryption advancements post-pandemic
Healthcare is one of several industries that has seen its technological capabilities accelerate in order to adjust to a global pandemic. While the industry was already on a slow but steady path towards digital transformation, there is no doubt that social distancing ordinances kicked things into high gear. The CDC has reported that since March 2020, when the majority of widespread lockdowns began, telehealth visits increased by 154%! This new, strong demand for virtual access to healthcare compelled hospitals to really embrace IoT technologies and new software in a big way. The benefits of replacing even a portion in-person hospital visits with telehealth (where possible) are obvious and abundant, but it does also mean that IT and security experts protecting health care facilities have to step up their game.
A wider use of technology unfortunately also means a wider threat landscape, with nearly 600 facilities reporting ransomware attacks in 2020 alone. The increased connections between hospitals and health care providers can allow for a greater standard of care, but it also makes established and trusted connections between these devices absolutely critical. Encryption will continue to be a strong supporting security technology for the healthcare industry as we evolve beyond the covid crisis.
Zoom boasts government-level security measures
Who among us didn’t become more acquainted with Zoom in 2020 than we ever planned to? Video calls and virtual meetings are officially a way of life, and it doesn’t seem that this will change even after the majority of the population has been vaccinated.
Before the pandemic, 80% of office employees reported they wanted the flexibility of working remotely so badly they would have taken a pay cut for the opportunity. Once coronavirus forced social distancing measures into place, the percentage of employees working from increased from 17% to 44%. The real challenge was always going to be convincing employees to leave their pets and pajamas at home and return to the office, and that’s not looking likely. The National Association for Business Economics reports that only 11% of companies will expect all staff members to return to the office full time.
This means that video conferencing platforms like Zoom are here to stay! In the last year, Zoom has conducted several security audits to discover and address all existing vulnerabilities in their network. Last year Zoom announced the roll out of end-to-end encryption for all users to boost confidence in the security of their connections, a feature that was previously only available to paid accounts. This is major win considering that the platform hosts over 200 million simultaneous meetings at all times! Other recent additions have included the ability for presenters to closely monitor meeting access, and only give participants they trust access to shared content.
Machine identity management is critical for every businesses
It’s been incredibly interesting to see how many “quick fixes”, which were initially embraced as the only option amidst a stressful pandemic, have actually been incorporated into a “new normal”. Given all of this, it is no surprise whatsoever that Gartner has officially named machine identity management a top security trend of 2021. Many facets of life including school, office jobs, and government proceedings have moved online in the wake of the pandemic, and security experts will need to remain adaptable to these ever-evolving needs. Maintaining the necessary standards of encryption will not be possible if you are unable to accurate establish trust between your machine and other entities that seek access to it—such as applications, cloud services, or other machines.
Managing machine identities across your organization via manual processes will be a painstaking, and ultimately doomed approach. Automation for certificate management is the only possible way to ensure certificates are protected from the one variable manual process that can never overcome: human error. Venafi’s platform for machine identity management offers total visibility across your entire network. As the creator of this security category, Venafi can kickstart your digital transformation today!
- Encryption for Mobile and IoT Devices Is More Critical Now than Ever Before [Encryption Digest 58]
- Top 10 Vulnerabilities that Make IoT Devices Insecure
- The Biggest Encryption Stories of 2020 [Encryption Digest 54]
- Gartner: Machine Identity Management is a Top Security Trend for 2021 [First Ever]