Technology is evolving rapidly and changing the way businesses operate. Emerging technologies such as cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are creating unprecedented opportunities for businesses to unlock new value.
However, this value is not assured. As technology evolves, so does the cyber threat landscape that organizations must navigate. In fact, it is estimated that the cyber threat globally slows the pace of technology innovation by as much as USD 3 trillion in lost economic value in 2020.
The shortage of skilled security personnel, complex compliance requirements, the incessant evolution of cyberattacks, and perilous insider threats continue to be the most prominent ongoing cybersecurity challenges.
However, navigating the coronavirus pandemic remains the biggest challenge for global security organizations in 2020. It is no surprise that data breaches have grown in volume and complexity in 2020, with the number of breaches increasing 273% in the first quarter, compared to 2019. What’s even more shocking is, only one hacker has stolen 34 million user records from seventeen companies in 2020.
As companies look to transition to a new normal in 2021 and beyond, here are some key cybersecurity trends that security teams must know to navigate the crisis:
Key Cybersecurity Trends in 2021 and Beyond
As remote work and online collaboration intensified during the coronavirus pandemic, cloud adoption has emerged as an ally for enterprises to ensure business continuity. Though global businesses have been migrating to the cloud before the crisis, the pandemic acted as a catalyst for the same.
However, rapid cloud migration is set to introduce a host of new security threats and challenges. Cloud-based security threats, including misconfigured cloud storage, reduced visibility and control, incomplete data deletion, and vulnerable cloud-apps, will continue to disrupt businesses in the future ahead.
As cyberattacks continue to grow in intensity and frequency, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to help under-resourced security teams to stay ahead of the threats.
By analyzing massive quantities of risk data from structured and unstructured resources, AI provides threat intelligence, reducing the time the security team takes to make critical decisions and respond to remediate the threat.
Extended Detection and Response (XDR)
With growing data breaches, the security teams are pressed to gain visibility of enterprise and customer data across emails, endpoints, networks, servers, cloud workloads, and applications.
The Extended Detection and Response (XDR) is set to gain momentum as it can automatically collect data from multiple endpoints and correlate it to facilitate faster threat detection and incident response. For instance, a cyber incident that caused alerts on a server, network, and application can be combined and correlated to enable visibility and context into the incident.
Security Process Automation
The lack of experienced security staff is set to encourage organizations to increasingly rely on security process automation. Security automation tools eliminate repetitive security operations by automating them based on pre-established rules and procedures. Thus, the security tasks can be performed quickly, effectively and with fewer errors.
Rise of Enterprise-level CSOs
In recent years, cybersecurity incidents, threats, and vulnerabilities beyond traditional enterprise IT systems skyrocketed, pushing organizations to revamp their security posture across cyber and physical environments.
Cyber incidents such as siegeware attacks on infrastructure management systems, increasing OT/OT system vulnerabilities, and GPS spoofing attacks continue to challenge the cyber-physical world. Thus, businesses that relied on the IT security-centric approach proved incapable of dealing with the effect of security risks on physical safety.
Therefore, organizations that implement cyber-physical systems are set to deploy enterprise-level Chief Security Officers (CSOs) to collaborate with multiple security-oriented silos. The CSO can bring physical security, IT security, OT security, product management security, and supply chain security into a centralized governance model.
Data Privacy as a Discipline
With the growing concerns regarding data management and security, data privacy, from being a part of compliance requirements, is set to become an increasingly significant, stated discipline of its own.
As a standalone discipline, data privacy impacts almost all aspects of an organization, from co-directing the corporate strategy to closely aligning with security, HR, governance, and procurement.
Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)
The coronavirus pandemic has triggered remote working culture, cloud adoption, and online collaboration, and this trend is set to grow in the future.
Thus, organizations’ network security is transforming from LAN-based appliance models to cloud-native security service models, including Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). SASE technology enables organizations to robustly secure remote workforce and cloud applications by routing the network traffic through a cloud-based security stack.
Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA)
Earlier, IT departments relied on Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to facilitate access to the corporate network for the remote workforce. As COVID-19 pushed almost all employees to remote work, VPNs proved woefully inadequate.
Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA) has emerged as a more secure option for organizations to control remote access to specific applications. According to Gartner, 80% of new digital business applications will be accessed through ZTNA by 2020, and 60% of enterprises will move from remote-access VPNs to ZTNA by 2023.
Amid the pandemic, remote working has drastically changed the way global businesses operate, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down.
Though the move to remote work was fast and furious for a lot of organizations, many companies are now figuring out that ‘work from home’ is the future of work. However, organizations must implement the right tools to ensure that remote access capabilities are tested and secure, and endpoints used by employees are patched effectively.
The unprecedented move to remote work has left global organizations unprepared to monitor or identify insider threats due to unauthorized remote access, weak passwords, unsecured networks, and the misuse of personal devices. These patterns are expected to not only continue but spike in 2021 and beyond.
As cybersecurity trends keep emerging, organizations must adopt a proactive IT security posture, rather than reactive, to keep business secure. They must become more nimble, more flexible, and more collaborative as they strive to secure their critical assets.
However, the far-reaching tentacles of cyber and evolving threats will make it hard for organizations to effectively focus on their core business objectives while ensuring security.