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2021 Cyber and Crisis Security Planning

By Alan W. Silberberg

In the past I have written about the 5 threats facing most of us in an upcoming year. For example 5 Key #CyberSecurity Trends for 2020, in which I completely missed work from home; and pandemic shift to digital across industries. I also missed the effects the pandemic would have on cyber security; and also physical crisis security planning and events. Planning and execution of deployment of new technologies that might have taken 3-5 years were implemented in months, if not weeks in some cases.

So, I want to pause here. Stop, think. Look back at the year behind us, and ask yourself was any of this in your crisis planning book? Did your organization or family office ever gamify the horrific results of such a virulent pandemic spreading into your lives? How many crisis planners did not include such catastrophe in their books? One of the best training applications possible in crisis management is understanding what you missed and how. Then train against that in the future, and add it to your overall security plan.

Suddenly much of the United States is working from home, and forced to deal with others working from home, sometimes in not so secure environments. This has had both short term and long term effects for corporate and personal cyber security alike. Every single facial biometrics and visual security company has had to make changes or upgrade to include data that has everyone wearing a mask. This is just one part of cyber security adaptations that have occurred rapidly. As an extreme example, suddenly you need to wear a mask to walk into a bank, flipping their decades old policies of no masks.

It has created whole new physical security concerns related to people losing control of their privacy and revealing aspects of their lives they never sought to. For example: People using insecure at home modems or routers, or not using a VPN or both. People using cellular based wifi, and or hotspots. People inadvertently giving up their addresses or other critical personal information by what is revealed in the backgrounds of video calls.

Reputation Control and Reputation Management
Cyber Security, Social Media, You.

In addition to cyber security and physical security concerns related to work from home, people also have to contend with fears. Obviously, not everyone is walking around in a full body PPE suit. But this little virus as shown below, is scaring people badly. It is causing irrational thinking and for people to break their normal routines and habits. This is in addition to the work from home and rapid evolution of cyber security and other digital trends.

Covid-19 Molecules

Fear plays a giant, even out-sized role in our responses to crisis, whether a digital attack or a physical security crisis like a virulent pandemic raging. The state of fear creates side effects for all of us. This leads to unclear decision making, and broken decision chains during crisis.

Spread of Coronavirus in the United States November 2020 image from https://www.covidexitstrategy.org/

Fear is mitigated by planning and training. But also by understanding the problem in front of you, and developing specific methods and applications to take you beyond the fear of the moment to the successful outcome instead of a negative one. This is true for cyber security, and physical security alike.

In looking at 2021, open your mind to all the potential crisis scenarios and look to see how you can mitigate now by training, practice and implementation of thorough cyber security and physical security actions for your organizations and your families.

Do not underestimate 2021. It will be powerful, both in good and bad ways.

Good luck.


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