Thinkers360 2021 Predictions are member-sourced from our opt-in B2B thought leader and influencer community with 25M+ followers on social media combined. The 2021 Predictions for Cybersecurity are part of a series to provide actionable insights for business and technology executives.
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We asked a selection of our Thinkers360 global thought leaders and influencers about their predictions for cybersecurity in 2021. Here’s what they told us…
What are your predictions for cybersecurity in 2021?
In 2021, emerging and fused technologies such as 5G, IoT, along with more advanced computing capabilities will pose significant operational challenges to the cybersecurity ecosystem. Companies and government agencies will look to automation and orchestration technologies to fill gaps. These technologies will combine with machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other analytic tools to mitigate cyber-threats on ubiquitous platforms, including hybrid clouds.
– Chuck Brooks, Brooks Consulting International
By 2022, 9 out of 10 enterprises will migrate to the clouds; And there are 20 billion IoT devices in 2020. The cyber-threat landscape will evolve as a result of the rapid shift to the cloud and the booming IoT. Businesses will invest more on “Security of Things”, “Identify of Things”, multi-faceted employee training and “advanced heuristic solutions”. Corporate boards will make cyber risk oversight a mandate, with a direct channel of communication with CISO. The cybersecurity skill shortage will be inevitable and presents opportunities for managed security service providers and certification providers. Data privacy standards will remain a hot topic as we navigate through the evolving cyber threat landscape.
– Helen Yu, Tigon Advisory Corp.
The COVID pandemic or its aftermath will accentuate the executives focus on cyber security execution
Non-stop cyber attacks and the increasing sophistication and acceleration of ransomware threats, coupled with the increased dependence on digital services induced by the COVID crisis, will accentuate the pre-existing focus of senior executives on the “when-not-if” paradigm, and their demands for solid execution around cyber security initiatives and projects. This – in turn & combined with scarcer budgetary resources – will increase the pressure on CIOs and CISOs.
– Jean-Christophe Gaillard, Corix Partners
The advent of digital diffusion creates lots of benefits, but there’s also the other side of the coin – it increases companies’ exposure to cyber threats. In fact, they are adapting through the digitization of products, the virtualization of computational resources, and the digitalization of business processes. It means creating huge quantities of data; and if all these precious information are not protected somehow, companies can run the risk of being vulnerable to cyber attacks. Thus, implementing an effective cyber security strategy will certainly become a priority in the coming times.
– Linda Grasso, Digital Business Innovation srl
Cybersecurity affects everyone. And while breaches of large enterprises make the headlines, small businesses and individuals often have the most to lose. In 2021, I see security and data-privacy strategies embracing a much wider swath of society. That will demand more diverse security teams to better understand a highly diverse user base. And it will require simpler, integrated, and highly automated security tools. Hackers, after all, are themselves diverse. And they don’t discriminate in choosing victims. For growth, innovation, and inclusion to increase across the planet, we must ensure that more and more people have access to effective, easy-to-use cyber defenses.
– Kevin Delaney, Cisco
The pandemic’s continuing effects on corporate budgets will result in a net reduction in cybersecurity budgets in 2021.
– Kayne McGladrey, Ascent Solutions
Many organizations go digital and go cloud in accelerating speed in 2020 to cope with COVID-19 impact; more accounts have to be opened up to the Internet for accessing O365 cloud services, working from home, working during a business trip or allowing remote vendor support. I predict there will be a sharp increase in account takeover attacks against cloud accounts and API gateway attacks. Organizations who have started their digital transformation should build a zero-trust authentication and network framework holistically in their defense strategy.
– Carol Lee, ISACA China Hong Kong Chapter
In addition to the long term standard protective requirements against the cybercriminal and nation states. There are 3 areas of the digital world that will cause a shift in cybersecurity requirements is 2021. Deep Fake will become mainstream. It will also become a mainstream problem and stopping it and exposing it will be a priority for social media companies. AI – Artificial intelligence will be heavily deployed by nation states and criminal gangs. Both have the money, expertise, and capabilities to inject AI into their attack profiles and strategies. Ransomware will have a bigger impact on business because the transition from encrypt to copy and encrypt. The new ransom will consist of “you may have a backup but we have a copy of your data and we will dump it on the internet if you do not pay us”.
– Roger Smith, Care MIT
Cybersecurity is a subject that requires logic, knowledge, thought and commitment. It can be applied or research based. It is a true leveller for all to enter, be successful and lead the future of cybersecurity. Work, how we work, and where we work are changing. The modern world is a dangerous cyber world for the innocent now and cyber experts are needed more than ever. As the Covid-19 changes many things the opportunities for women are opening. That is why the education of the next generation of Cyber experts must start now, include all those that have historically been limited to be part of this defense of our ways of life. Cybersecurity needs women to be successful and without them it will not as the best talent a must. I see a future where women are the leaders a pushing the boundaries for the benefit for all.
– Ian McAndrew, Dean of Doctoral Programs, Capitol Technology University.
In its nature, the privacy and security domain has always been strong in the culture of a “non-disclosure”. Although we must protect corporate sensitive information and individual privacy, it is vital for the best industry practices, critical information, and knowledge to be shared. With the profound passion for knowledge, consistently, I developed a competence and passion of a communication catalyst in the field of cybersecurity – one of the main pillars in digital economies. I state firmly that this is an important, awareness and value-creating mission for a knowledgeable cybersecurity influencer. Taking a chance to reach out to all the friends and followers globally who voted for me in a Cybersecurity Woman Of The Year 2020 Award nomination (Influencer category). Now, that we won, let us influence in 2021 and beyond.
– Ludmila Morozova-Buss, Capitol Technology University
The role of machine learning (ML) in cybersecurity is growing and has now become more proactive. With ML, cybersecurity becomes simpler, more effective, and, at the same time, less expensive. From a rich dataset, ML develops patterns and manipulates them with algorithms. This way, it can anticipate and respond to active attacks in real-time. AI/ML enables instantaneous automation, completing tasks that would typically take days for humans, in a matter of seconds. The magnitude of ‘cybersecurity’ makes it unfeasible for professionals to rigorously manage all aspects of it, particularly when massive amounts of data are involved. By incorporating automation, professionals can focus on anomalies and large-scale threats whilst AI focusses on the data-heavy or repetitive tasks.
– Ramy AlDamati, ( CTO @ GloryThink Group ) & ( Founder @ TrustyCrypto )
Cybercriminals focus on targeting the growing online digital economy causing considerable disruption and financial losses As the usage, control, and flow of money transitions to digital financial services, online shopping, decentralized finance, and digital currencies, cybercriminals will greatly increase their attacks on these aspects of the digital economy to target financial assets. Highly customized phishing, more creative impersonation attacks, DDoS extortion, digital exchange hacks, cryptocurrency fraud, and online credential theft will ramp to epidemic levels, forcing the development of new cybersecurity capabilities. Governments will be spurred to explore new regulatory frameworks and to directly act in ways to protect citizens assets and activities. This will create more tension with the rise of privacy relevance and fears of government oversight. – Matthew Rosenquist, CISO and Industry Cybersecurity Strategist, Eclipz.io
– Matthew Rosenquist, Eclipz
My prediction into the World of Cyber Security in 2021, will span into Cyber Warfare and the shutting down of defensive systems during a Civil Technology War. The world will be politically challenged with opposing persons who use technology for intelligence, surveillance and for attacking people. Drones will create this stage, it will be through this field that terrorism will bring new conflicts […] in the world today. We are seeing drones themselves are becoming smaller, quieter, enhancing in video and audio recording quality, as well as other applications as the technology evolves.
– James Castle, Terranova Defense Solutions
Data sovereignty will become a major concern for nations and their economies. Large number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices will turn into Internet of Threats after being hijacked in public areas, at home or at enterprise. More cloud breaches will occur due to misconfigured administration accesses and poorly secured multi-cloud configurations. Boosted by pandemic, the direct-to-consumer shift ‘from offline to online’ will increase cyber exposure of the retail realm. Classical cryptography will lose the ground in front of quantum computing weaponization. Post quantum cryptography will emerge (from theory to reality) as a necessary solution.
– Stephane Nappo, Groupe SEB
Covid-19 has accelerated threats by moving more assets outside of the traditional physical and logical security boundaries. Work from Anywhere is now a ubiquitous standard and the CyberSecurity Mesh will proliferate as a result, ensuring secure access to, and use of, cloud-located applications and distributed data from uncontrolled devices. The Mesh approach decouples policy enforcement from policy decision making via a cloud delivery model allowing identity to become the security perimeter.
– Rob May, ramsac
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