The world of cybersecurity is constantly evolving, and the landscape for governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) is in perpetual flux. New technology is being developed at breakneck speed, only just keeping pace with the tricks and tactics used by cybercriminals. And if there’s one thing we can learn from COVID-19, it’s that the future is uncertain.
We can never truly know what tomorrow will bring. With that said, there are certain trends that can be predicted with relative certainty. And each one is a potential game-changer.
Cybercriminals will continue to target IoT devices, and the resulting upturn in DDoS attacks will make early IoT botnets like Mirai look akin to child’s play. Companies will continue to embrace zero trust while also accepting the role of awareness and resilience in cybersecurity. Artificial intelligence and automation will take center stage alongside a push for greater data sovereignty and integration.
These are the security and compliance trends that will shape 2022—and the years that follow.
1. Resilience, Awareness, Collaboration
If it wasn’t already clear, the pandemic drove the point home. Security is no longer the sole domain of IT. And though the corporate network is the center of a business’s threat landscape, it is no longer walled off.
Businesses have finally begun to accept this, and more companies than ever are adopting an end-to-end view of their security and compliance programs and embracing a culture of cybersecurity. Moreover, they understand that although they may do everything in their power to prevent a breach from happening, such incidents may be inevitable — incident response teams must be prepared to respond immediately when anything goes wrong.
To get there, all stakeholders must be involved in the conversation, and businesses must tear down data silos by encouraging the open sharing of information across all departments.
2. Zero Trust Protocols
In the past, a business could reasonably expect that a device connected to its corporate network was legitimate. This is no longer the case in a world of remote work and massive supply chains. It’s long been known that a zero-trust methodology is a crucial component of an organization’s security posture — but as we transition to hybrid work post-pandemic this year, it will become non-negotiable.
Zero Trust security operates on three core principles:
- Continuous verification
- Limiting the damage zone
- Automating remediation
3. The Emergence of AI-Powered Security and Automation
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have been gaining ground for several years, and 2022 might be when they finally achieve widespread acceptance. AI significantly reduces the workload for security teams while also detecting suspicious activity which might fly under the radar of traditional intrusion detection and prevention solutions. Tools trained via machine learning will automate more than just intrusion detection, as well.
Security teams will be able to leverage these modern solutions for everything from application security testing to incident response. For instance, during a cyberattack, a company may need to patch its systems, eliminate its network of third-party service providers, and shut down its infrastructure before further damage occurs. Automating this process through AI allows businesses to more efficiently and effectively mitigate threats and address problems as they evolve.
By the end of 2022, we expect to see a cybersecurity sector powered by the cloud, supported by data analytics, and augmented by AI and ML, the result of which will be reduced complexity, cost, and risk.
4. A Solution to the Internet of Bots?
The Internet of Things has been a cybersecurity nightmare since the first smart devices hit the consumer market. Already, we’ve seen botnets massive enough to bring down entire swathes of the Internet. In the absence of any standards or oversight, it’s only going to get worse.
Yet even as 2022 offers us the grim promise of botnets larger than any we’ve ever seen, the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show gave us a glimmer of hope, with multiple vendors showcasing cybersecurity tools specifically made for the IoT.
5. More Technology Integration Across Enterprises
It’s a simple equation—the more distinct tools a business uses, the more points of failure it must concern itself with. And the more points of failure there are, the greater the risk of a cyber incident. Organizations operating in both the public and private sectors have long been tangentially aware of this, but 2022 may be the year that boardrooms finally accept the gravity of the situation.
With any luck, that will mean cybersecurity departments no longer have to struggle with insufficient funding, as businesses realize that cybersecurity is a multi-pronged discipline that requires far more than antivirus software. In the short term, we will likely see leadership push for the adoption of a suite of tools with features such as small business password storage, biometrics authentication, EDR (endpoint detection and response). Most critically, these tools will need to integrate seamlessly, both with one another and with a business’s existing infrastructure.
6. Data Sovereignty Becoming a Reality For Businesses Everywhere
Data is more valuable than ever, and in the face of a decentralized ecosystem, an overwhelming volume of corporate data now resides outside the network — and it must be secured where it resides. As a result, MDR/EDR/XDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) solutions will be more critical than ever in 2022. At the same time, file-centric solutions that apply granular controls directly to the data itself may also see an upturn.