This has not been a normal year, by any standards. Certainly not for anybody trying to keep a business afloat. In almost every part of the world and across most vertical sectors, senior management has struggled to maintain equilibrium in the face of remote working on a massive scale and seismic changes in patterns of demand and supply. But if you are a Chief Information Security Officer, you can pretty much double the difficulty that other C-levels have faced. That’s because in a year of non-stop turmoil there has been one clear winner: the cybercriminal. Bad actors have been galvanised by the pandemic, and have been working overtime to capitalise on the opportunities it represents.
As we head into 2021, here are some cybersecurity predictions that in one form or another will probably be topping the ‘to do’ lists of most CISOs:
- Mobile security threats are not going away
The trend towards BYOD was already causing plenty of security loopholes pre-pandemic. Now everyone is using their own mobile devices at the edge, and centrally managed security resources are still trying to catch up. No wonder the Cyber Intelligence Centre operated by consulting firm Deloitte is reporting that fake COVID messages are being used as a primary weapon by cyber criminals as they seek to break down sometimes hastily erected mobile network defences. And let’s not ignore the growing impact of Internet of Things (IoT) devices on organisational security. Do CISOs even know which of the IoT devices their organisation currently deploys is a potential route into the organisation for a hacker? CISOs will need to keep evaluating new tools and new approaches as threat levels look likely to be sustained throughout 2021.
- Supply chains will remain under pressure
It’s not just homeworkers accessing corporate data from their tablets that CISOs need to worry about. The whole way that supply chains function has also shifted, affecting the entire risk profile that an organisation faces. This means visibility has never been more important. Enterprises need a top-down view of supply chain risk that takes in suppliers, partners, customers and all the possible security breaches they represent. Traditional approaches to data management and enterprise connectivity will not allow this visibility. Again, new tools must be evaluated, costed, tested and deployed.
- Get ready for tough choices
The story of 2021, from a cybersecurity standpoint, will be one of stretching resources thinly over as wide a range of challenges as possible. Threats may be on the rise, but tough economic times may well mean budgets will shrink. The tough decisions that will be required can be made a little less tough with the aid of the right cybersecurity tools. Don’t spend resources maintaining your old VPN defences. Take a look at SASE. And let’s not forget that much of the security of the future will be powered by AI. This will keep you further ahead of the criminals than any human-led measures. This kind of next generation security may actually help lower costs.
With the right technology in place, enterprises can help keep at bay the multiple consequences of major security breaches. They won’t need reminding that these consequences can take numerous forms, including financial losses stemming from downtime, to regulatory fines, to long-term reputational damage. Many CISOs have already had to do extraordinary things just to survive 2020. If business continuity is to be sustained through 2021 then they will need to do it all over again.
The following event will feature expert discussion of the cybersecurity landscape, and drill down into some of the next generation solutions that can be deployed to fight cybercrime:
By Guy Matthews, Editor of NetReporter