New year, new threats: Cybersecurity trends you must pay attention to in 2018

The extensive digital presence is increasingly evident and growing exponentially within organizations. The protection and safety from cyber-related incidents are now, more than ever, particularly important. The changing IT landscape means that cybersecurity trends will follow to accommodate and support this change.

Cybersecurity is one of the fastest changing as well as quickly advancing areas in technology. The need for this development is partly due to the continual changes happening in business environments. This includes the requirement to become more digital and automated, the growing threat environment, combined with very capable villains equipped with abundant resources who know how to manipulate this environment and its people. It is also being driven by the growing trend to focus on the privacy and security of individuals and their data — in particular, the imminent GDPR regulation coming into effect in May.

Here are some notable present-day focal points that organizations should be contemplating:

Cybersecurity trends to consider

Cybersecurity trends
  • An adaptable architecture and infrastructure

Your cybersecurity architecture and infrastructure must be adaptable. Technologies utilized should enable a constant monitoring of your networks and support a continuous means to respond to threats. Thus, detection and response mechanisms seem to have the upper hand on prevention presently.

Numerous support methods and tools for making information and logs available is essential. This helps to determine the significance of an attack or incident. At the time of an incident, having this information at your fingertips is invaluable. It enables a quick and effective response and rapid disaster management rollout. It helps to calm the chaos that tends to go hand-in-hand with an attack.

A continuous and comprehensive security provides visibility across multiple layers. This is fundamental not only for present-day security but also very necessary to support future security.

Most organizations struggle with the number of connections to their networks. Devices and networks are connecting from everywhere, and as this was not initially taken into account by network designers, it is making network infrastructures increasingly vulnerable. Adaptations must be made to bridge this growing gap as connectivity will not decline. Connectivity will only grow, and without due consideration, the vulnerabilities will magnify. Network segmentation and the creation of network trust zones and a means to detect changes is important to get on top of this growing vulnerability.

Cybersecurity is extending further into the areas of privacy, availability, and physical safety for people and the environment. People now and in the future will rely on devices and the Internet of Things for daily functioning. These “things” can have a detrimental impact on the physical safety of people and the environment if not properly secured, hence the precedence of cybersecurity in this area.

An architecture and infrastructure that is adaptable and flexible is vital to provision improved security.

  • Governance, data security, and regulation

The expansion of digital ecosystems brings with it an increase in security risk. Furthermore, the advancement in lucrative cybercrime and the ease of it (just about anyone can have a go with a high success rate —  this is one of the more dire cybersecurity trends) highlights the need for improved governance at an organizational level.

Data security has never been as important as it is presently. The privacy and safety of people is at the forefront of most cybersecurity trends. This involves having the appropriate technical and organizational measures in place to ensure this. Regulation like the GDPR, in particular, is driving the “rethink and rework” of how organizations govern and manage data flow and secure personal data. This involves reworking policies, data management, and data security for the entire lifecycle of data — not just when it is being used, but when it is no longer useful.

Varieties of products are available that claim to monitor, protect, and manage, but this is only making it more difficult for security professionals to pinpoint which of these are most useful and which they actually need. If the data itself is not considered first, the products will not be of much use.

It is beneficial to get the foundation right. Focus on classifying data and profiling data flow and a means to automate this process is essential for all future data security. It is important to determine the value of and type of data you have and process, where it is, where it is coming from, and going to.

This is what many organizations are now focusing on — implementing governance and validating the security of data. It is particularly important as the ecosystem changes to include the Internet of Things on a broader scale —  another of the cybersecurity trends you must pay attention to.

  • Merging development, operations, and security

Cybersecurity trendsWe need to approach security using privacy and security by design. Development and operations must also include a security element. Together, this can ensure that more effective security is achieved. There is a movement to bring these three closer together. Working in isolation is no longer feasible, and realizing and creating a continuation from development right through to operations and incorporating security from the get-go is required. With this a smoother and more secure system can be achieved, thus merging these processes is becoming more commonplace — and necessary.

  • New skills

Automation, AI, and analytics — the list goes on and on. So many new and exciting verticals are becoming reality. Many of these disciplines are forming part of existing functions within organizations and the skills needed to take full advantage of these exciting disciplines are lacking.

The shift is imparting the necessity for an organization to include a new skill set. If they don’t, they risk falling by the wayside. Data science, artificial security intelligence, automated security, and everything to do with data security are some areas that are very unfamiliar territory for numerous organizations. Until such skills are commonly learned and available, external services may be sought to fill these skills gaps. Moreover, appropriate security skill sets are very limited presently.

Cybersecurity trendsA movement to find the gaps and a means to incorporate these new skills is happening and will continue for some time. We need new skill sets to support evolving cybersecurity and new data protection regulations. Up until now, security professionals have been able to sidestep much of this. Now, we are generating vast amounts of data and focusing more on utilizing Big Data. This, combined with the stringent regulation on data privacy, means that we must address this. This is a focal point for many organizations currently.

  • Achieving the right balance

Security is all the more a priority as the need for it becomes further entrenched within all layers of the organization. As this happens it is essential to effectively balance management of risk and resiliency. We can’t protect everything equally. Someone determined enough to get into your systems will find a way! You can protect your network, your systems, your applications, and devices, but human error could be your downfall. Obtaining the balance is fundamental. Being able to detect, respond, and remediate is the priority for now, and one of the most important of all new cybersecurity trends.

Many are approaching security through considering risk appetite to determine where more control is essential. The idea is to protect what matters most — data should be on that list! Ensure that you have the tools to give you the visibility that you need to speed up recovery. With so many parties involved, securing everything comprehensively is unlikely. So, we are now striving to get the balance right and manage the risk, protect what counts while outshining at detection and recovery.

Staying on top of the changes

It is not surprising that these cybersecurity trends show a shift in security focus: a need for the adaptation skills and the addition of new skills, a focus on finding and achieving the right balance as well as application and data security. The inclination for a more digital ecosystem, and the imminent regulations conveys this.

There is a requirement to not only stay up to date but to do what’s possible to keep ahead of the changes and strive to maintain state-of-the-art technologies and solutions all of the time. This is tricky in a fast-changing environment such as the one we are all living in now.

Within the cybersecurity environment, it’s beneficial to keep abreast of the trends and be able to adapt your environment and ways of functioning to also ensure security for the future digital age. Ensuring that your security architecture and infrastructure is flexible and resilient helps to achieve this. It’s important to get the security foundations right and be able to adapt everything else to meet the times.

Photo credit: Pexels

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Scroll to Top