Now over a year into the pandemic that has changed the working habits of people worldwide, we continue to see the impact it is having on cyber security sourcing.

From supply shortages to reduced human interaction, COVID-19 has presented many challenges to the security of businesses and individuals alike. So, what are some of the current obstacles to security sourcing, and how might they change organisations’ approach to sourcing in the new world?

Supply shortages and network limitations

The pandemic has highlighted some major weaknesses in global supply networks — demonstrating the knock-on effect a range of factors can have on lead times and availability. As a result, many companies are looking for products and services closer to home to limit the impact of external influences.

However, as companies seek to renew licenses or buy new solutions, demand is now greater than supply — at least for physical products. Global chip shortages are impacting the cost and supply of a range of security hardware, from computers to fingerprint sensors.

COVID-19 has acted as the catalyst for this global microchip shortage, with people and businesses frantically investing in digital technology in an effort to stay connected and productive during lockdown. Unfortunately, this crisis is predicted to continue well into 2022, as the demand for semiconductor chips far outweighs supply, and manufacturers continue to face up to six-month delays.

Quarantine and travel restrictions

On top of the pre-existing skills gap the cyber security industry was already facing, the pandemic has also caused temporary labour shortages. Since April 2020, coronavirus has accounted for 14% of all occurrences of sickness absence, with quarantine measures halting productivity and meaning cyber security experts are not as accessible as businesses would like.

When sourcing security solutions, most companies want to be able to personally verify the people, products and services they are dealing with. However, COVID and the various travel and quarantine restrictions in place around the world have limited this ability to discover, qualify and certify new products and services — making it all the more possible for businesses to fall foul of faceless scammers and defective products.

Less face-to-face contact

In a post-pandemic world, organisations are also likely to take a more cautious approach to security sourcing, with factors such as financial uncertainty and hesitancy about how their business model will change playing a pivotal role in decision making.

On the other side, with more and more people opting to work from home, many security professionals have started new roles or work on new contracts without ever having met their boss or client!

Not being able to meet people, read body language or have real interactions with customers, clients and colleagues means there is a delay in building the trust that would usually be established via face-to-face meetings. As a result, decision-making is drawn out.

With this increasingly virtual approach, more emphasis must be placed on ‘try before you buy’ or proof of value rather than concept to help build trust and reassure prospective customers that they are sourcing their reliable, tried-and-tested security products and services from reputable partners.

As specialists in information security, our consultants can advise you on how to adapt your security sourcing strategy in light of the ever-changing needs of your business (and the world). Contact us today to find out how we can help.