The pandemic has changed how we do business and opened up many companies to potential threats, including devastating cyberattacks. The rapid shift to remote work and online shopping and banking has made for a wider attack surface for cybercriminals. That’s why it’s crucial for businesses to up their security posture now, before the next big news story about encryption and cybersecurity.
But what exactly will that next “big story” be? Below, 15 members of Forbes Technology Council share the topics they believe will make tomorrow’s headlines in the cybersphere.
1. Stronger Cybersecurity Measures
The overnight transformation to remote work and online transacting screams for robust cybersecurity. According to World Economic Forum’s The Global Risks Report 2021, cybersecurity failure is one of the greatest threats facing humanity over the next 10 years. One should expect to see stronger cybersecurity measures and cyber insurance becoming a staple in every transaction and offering in the future. – Ritesh Mukherjee, Reliance Jio
2. AI And Blockchain
AI and blockchain technologies can play a big role in the fight against cybercrime. Currently, the main focus of blockchain technologies has been on cryptocurrency, but I expect that soon startups such as OpenAI will change the landscape by providing hybrid solutions that can prevent, detect and respond to cybercrime in a much more efficient way. – Sean Toussi, Glo3D Inc.
3. Zero Trust
New attack surfaces will drive organizations to adopt Zero Trust strategies, which assume systems are compromised. Encryption plays a key role in this approach as teams work to protect sensitive assets. Beyond at-rest and in-transit encryption, data must be protected during processing, an often-overlooked security gap addressed by privacy-enhancing technologies such as homomorphic encryption. – Ellison Anne Williams, Awakening
4. Identity Verification
To protect themselves from bad actors, businesses need to prioritize identity verification. Whether it’s customers or employees, knowing with certainty who is on the computer at the other end is critical to maintaining secure operations. The right ID verification system can prevent fraud, secure sensitive data and even keep groups of bad actors out, ultimately protecting your bottom line. – Rick Song, Person
5. Conflict Between Tech Companies And Governments
If governments want backdoors in encryption, then those can be exploited by other hackers as well—in which case you cannot blame encryption itself but the overall governance and implementation of encryption. In the case of a major impact breach in the near future, I won’t be surprised if we see technology companies and governments blaming each other. – Amandeep Midha, BEC
6. Edge Computing And 5G Proliferation
As data moves to the edge, the attack surface will become even broader, affecting all areas of computing at the edge. This, along with 5G proliferation and more devices’ consideration for protecting these new vectors, will become ever more important. – Wayne Filin-Matthews, Dell Technologies
7. Machine Learning
We will see how machine learning will impact the space and ultimately impact data security practices. As the technology evolves, it’s important for comprehensive preparations involving all stakeholders to ensure the ongoing integrity of user privacy. How will we detect a system breach? Is the data secured in such a way that the magnitude of damages is minimized should a breach occur? – Rena Christina Tabata, ShareSmart (Think Tank Innovations Ltd.)
8. Proactive Cybersecurity Teams
Because the attack surface is constantly widening, we will see cybersecurity teams adopt an offensive strategy versus a purely defensive one, implementing a red team approach that will make them think like a hacker and focus on first protecting what hackers prioritize. – Juliette Rizkallah, SailPoint
9. Increased Security Across The Entire Supply Chain
The manufacturing industry is one of the most vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks. Recently, the U.S. government introduced a mandatory regulatory measure called the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, which will force manufacturers and their partners to become compliant. So, I think we’ll start to see more news around the call to increase the level of security across the entire supply chain. – Jason Ray, Paperless Parts
10. The Continuing Race To The Cloud
The recent cybersecurity attacks on financial and medical data have been a painful reminder of our lack of investments in information security and infrastructure—especially in medical imaging. The race to the cloud has now shifted from a matter of adoption to urgent acceleration. This will continue to be a dominant trend. Leveraging AI to combat cyber fraud and cyberattacks will be an emerging market trend. – Archie Mayani, Change Healthcare
11. Attacks Enabled By User Behaviors
We will see even more attacks being successful because of poor user behaviors. Companies have spent a lot of resources securing their digital office environments, but in a remote working world, maintaining high levels of security and privacy depends to an even higher degree on individual behaviors. Companies will have to focus even more on making privacy and security a key part of organizational culture. – Jessica Nordlander, ThoughtExchange
12. Token-Based Authentication Models
Passwords have long been a weak spot in security infrastructure. The advent of email-based two-factor authentication has only partly mitigated the issue. I would expect more and more services to switch to an app or token-based authentication model. Likewise, I would expect centralized authentication models, such as sign-in with Google, LinkedIn or OpenID, to take off. – Kevin Korte, Univention
13. The Emergence Of Distributed ID
Distributed ID will emerge and challenge centralized identity providers with asymmetric, encrypted IDs that are private, more secure and self-owned. As evidenced by the recent SolarWinds attack, centralized ID systems are vulnerable to privilege escalation and other cyber threats. By harnessing the power of a “trustless” system such as blockchain, distributed IDs limit the attack surface. – John Ottman, Solix Technologies, Inc. and Minds, Inc.
14. Obfuscation-Based Encryption Techniques
Historically, we had to choose between encrypting data or storing it in the clear. Full-on encryption doesn’t always enable the desired performance for data warehouses, and clear text has obvious drawbacks. New technology that builds upon obfuscation techniques will give security and privacy practitioners a new option to avoid clear text and meet performance requirements for analytics queries. – Caroline Wong, Cobalt.io
15. Quantum-Safe Encryption
Organizations must understand that today’s encryption standards are not fit for protecting against the power of quantum computers. Businesses can’t assume they’re safe until quantum resistance is achieved. Hackers are actively working to steal data to access years down the line, knowing quantum is coming. As such, adopting quantum-safe encryption is key. – Alex Cresswell, Thales Group
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