Everything has changed drastically overnight. We are living in a situation with tremendous economic and social impacts. It will take time to return to normality as we understood it a few weeks ago.

In the middle of this situation, some of us believe that we are coming to a juncture. Work models are going to evolve, and some changes have arrived to stay for good. Which ones? Surely, working from home (WFH) will be one of them.

The National Institute of Statistics (INE) of Spain recently published a bulletin indicating that less than 5% of all Spaniards used to work from home regularly, and another 3.5% did so on occasion. Some of us think that this trend is going to change radically.

With this statement I don’t mean that we will never go back to the office, but that working from home is going to go beyond striking a balance. It is going to become fully accepted as a business continuity measure, and it is going to be included in many more sectors than before.

In this new paradigm, we have to start thinking about the services that our companies provide to our clients. How can we adapt these services? How can we make them virtual? How can we make a company comply with a policy without being ‘physically’ present? As a cybersecurity specialists, the leaders we think of the most these days are the CISO and the DPO. We all know that, when it comes to security, you have to stay one step ahead in the future.

The CISO has become a virtual CISO overnight. Recommendations, demands, guidelines; everything has to be launched remotely without making any of these elements seem less important. Secure technologies will be key for their dissemination. And companies will no longer say that it is impossible to have a virtual CISO! In some cases there may not even be an alternative.

And the DPO? Taking care of our clients’ and employees’ personal data is extremely important to preserve the reputation of our companies. Specific privacy tools that allow us to manage data from any location have become one of the best allies of the DPO. And online training? It can be done at any time and place, and it is an excellent tool (even fun!) to disseminate best practices within our organizations.

Most of the needs of both the CISO and the DPO can be covered remotely: from reviewing the premises of the company and the security of a cloud environment to the adaptation of the continuity plan (for instance, to include WFH as a contingency measure).

And how about our employees? How can we help them protect themselves? As it has been proven, a virtual environment includes even more tools. There are online courses to become more familiar with security best practices for WFH (such as the one recently launched by everis), phishing campaigns to see who takes the bait and launch specific awareness-raising actions, provide positive reinforcements and information capsules and, voilà! Our employees are ready to be a strong link in the security chain.

On top of this, for service providers, working remotely may have other benefits: it allows us to standardize practices and give support to multiple client locations from a centralized office, even during extended hours.

Being virtual empowers us. Unquestionably, we are going through a period of great uncertainty, but we believe that, in the coming months, the new normality that is being discussed so much these days will await us with new opportunities and work models. And when it arrives, we will be ready: we will be virtual.