World Executives Digest | Cybersecurity in 2020: What to Watch | In Efficient IP’s whitepaper from 2019, which was an enterprise network security threat report, the company said that many high-profile breaches and security issues had been exposed in recent years. They went on to say that traditional security tools and products are no longer sufficient and won’t offer the needed level of business continuity or data protection in the modern environment.
The report also said that digital transformation is leading to the rapid adoption of cloud services, and this is paired with major regulatory changes.
This was all in reference to 2019 but holds true as we head into 2020. The following are important cybersecurity predictions, threats, and trends to be aware of for the new year.
A Shift Toward Cyber Protection
Cybersecurity isn’t a new term. It’s something that’s been used for a couple of decades, but cybersecurity has gotten more important because the number of threats has grown, as has their severity. There have also been increasing challenges because of the complexity of networks, thanks to cloud-based technology and other components.
As a result, something that’s becoming more popular is the term cyber protection.
Cyber protection is more than cybersecurity because cybersecurity is often what we associate with some anti-virus software and password protection. This approach to cybersecurity doesn’t work in the current landscape, and cyber protection does a better job incorporating all of the important things.
MarketWatch estimates that the global cybersecurity and cyber protection industry will reach more than $250 billion by 2023, and see a growth rate of 11%.
Growing Relevance of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence will become increasingly relevant in cybersecurity in 2020, according to analyst predictions. It’s anticipated that network managers will extend their dependence on AI and machine learning as they protect from invaders and attacks, identify points of weakness, and respond to issues as they come about.
While AI has benefits as far as cybersecurity applications, it can also create challenges, and there will have to be a sense of balance to address this.
For example, AI can, in and of itself, be an area for cybercriminals to target.
One of the most pressing challenges for organizations of all sizes heading into 2020 is the skills gap as far as cybersecurity talent. As companies are facing a growing number of high-profile cybersecurity disasters leading to millions of dollars in damages, they also have a tough time filling cybersecurity positions.
There may be as many as 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions by 2021, and many of the current professionals in the field are being pushed to take on additional duties and work long hours.
This is giving rise to concerns that the people who do have these skills are going to get burned out and then exit the field, only furthering the general problem.
In a survey conducted by ESG, 53% of responding organizations said they were facing a cybersecurity shortage. That’s a 10% increase from 2016.
This comes even as more people are graduating from cybersecurity programs, but perhaps not enough to keep up with industry demand.
Bots and Trolling
We hear a lot about campaigns of misinformation with the use of bots and trolling when it comes to politics. It’s a widely discussed and hotly debated topic, and many analysts expect the 2020 presidential election will see a lot of effects of misinformation and bot-based campaigns.
This is something that may also start to affect businesses.
Some experts believe it will grow more popular in 2020 for businesses to use tactics with bots and trolling to create misinformation about their competitors or affect their brand.
This will bring about regulatory challenges and other issues relating to how to control this potential situation, or what extent the government might become involved.
Many of us feel like the devices we rely on in our daily lives are watching and monitoring us, and that’s potentially true. Along with the proliferation of the Internet of Things in many of our homes and lives comes increasing cybersecurity risks and challenges.
A 2019 Business Intelligence study predicted more than 64 billion IoT devices would be part of our world by 2025. This trend will be accelerated by the introduction of 5G networking that will let developers source new opportunities to create high-speed communication devices that don’t have any delays in transmission.
However, IoT devices are already inherently vulnerable to cyber attacks like spoofing and malware.
As they grow in numbers and uses, it’s likely security won’t be able to keep up. This will be relevant to regulators, manufacturers, and users at the enterprise level.
The Rise of a Zero-Trust Environment
What many businesses are starting to discover, which is somewhat in-line with the idea of cyber protection, is that the old methods of securing just a perimeter are no longer enough.
In order to defend the entirety of a complex network and all of its assets, more organizations are going to have to stop just talking about theoretical zero-trust environments and actually start implementing them.
The zero-trust model to security and protection brings together applications, data, and identity and does so in a way that’s in line with the modern IT landscape.
The old way of thinking was that insiders could be trusted to access data and assets. According to Homer Nievera who is a digital transformation expert in the Philippines, this way of thinking is no longer true. In fact, he says, phishing mostly happens from insiders.
The new way of thinking that uses the zero-trust environment doesn’t inherently have trust in anyone, whether inside or outside the perimeter.
This is the appropriate approach to deal with insider breaches, which are often more difficult to detect and sometimes quite a bit more damaging. Internal breaches can be malicious or accidental, but a zero-trust architecture is a way to prevent them and detect them, regardless of the category they fall into.
The zero-trust model provides a granular view of data across the entire network, and it’s likely to be one of the biggest security trends affecting businesses and other organizations in 2020.