Predictive and proactive IT security approaches have been adopted by cybersecurity pros in recent years. However, the pandemic and its subsequent consequences altered the IT landscape drastically.
The Covid-19 pandemic is being reined in, but it is happening very slowly, and the impact it has created on the IT security landscape is seemingly long-lasting. 2021 is almost ready to bid adieu where breaches and ransomware attacks among other attacks increased significantly and 2022; will it be any different from a security perspective?
The drastic and frequent changes in the work environment have given sleepless nights to cybersecurity pros around the year. Too many alterations of IT security policies, unpredictable IT security budget, managing partial workforce remotely, everything has increased challenges.
Information Security and IT risk management have become a board-level concern for both SMEs and large organizations. The number of security breaches is rising uncontrollably, putting cybersecurity at the forefront of business decisions.
The last three quarters witnessed several incidents of data breaches, malicious IT activities and abuses of credentials even in those industries where there were no apparent cyber threats. According to Forbes, more than 78% organizations claimed that the threat pattern has completely changed in the last two quarters, and it is worsening day by day.
So what are we expecting in 2022? After rigorous R&Ds, the global organizations are adopting more stringent governance standards, advanced security solutions and IT policies to combat more complex cyber threats. ARCON, being a thought leader in the next-gen IT security solutions, discusses forecast 2022 that will shape the future of cybersecurity.
A] Hybrid Environment / Work From Anywhere (WFA): Since the last couple of months WFA has topped the trend. While many organizations have adopted this practice, others are in the process of adopting it. According to the latest CNBC research, over 70% of global employees are presently working remotely at least once a week. Thus, organizations are modifying their IT infrastructure so that flexibility of location cannot create any hindrance among the workforce.
Now, what are the security challenges that organizations might face? Frankly, the list is quite long. Let’s discuss the major ones. The organizations jump into a double-faced IT security policies with stringencies in both remote and on-prem work conditions. As a result, the risk assessment teams are also considering both environments to regularize their routine risk assessment and vigilance tasks. At the infrastructure level, organizations need to work on access control policies where there has to be a rule and role-based access to the critical systems and applications. Moreover, the end-user authentication has to be very robust to evade malicious actors in the network periphery. The chances of malefactors could be higher as many organizations are banking on third-party service providers to ensure that there is no interruption in the business.
B] Healthcare Industry to continue investing heavily in IT security: The healthcare industry consisting of both government organizations and private entities accumulate details of thousands of patients on a daily basis. The situation after the global pandemic has become more intense from a data security perspective.
As more citizens are facing the biological hazard, they are appearing in the hospitals for medical assistance. Hence, more patients’ data are generated and stored in applications and databases. This poses a huge risk. Cyber criminals consider the healthcare industry a treasure trove to manipulate and misuse the personal identifiable information. The year 2022 is going to observe higher risks, and every healthcare organization needs to have frequent vulnerability assessments to mitigate cyber risks. According to Forrester, the healthcare industry’s investment in cybersecurity is expected to rise to a total of $125 billion between 2021 to 2025.
C] More demand for Endpoint Security solutions: The usage of endpoints like desktops, laptops or external hard drives has increased exponentially. Simultaneously, the number of risk patterns have risen beyond control and measure. Access Control risks are increasing due to Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and Work From Anywhere (WFA) practices.
Since vulnerability in endpoints is one of the biggest sources of data abuse, adoption of best practices in endpoint security and management is an absolute must.
Organizations following WFA practices are the most vulnerable to endpoint attacks. The applications that are not aligned with the role and rule-based access policies, including applications with ‘always-on’ privileges may witness the highest chances of anomalous activities. In addition, behaviour analytics around identities and scoring end-user profiles based on risks will be on the rise as businesses and organizations look to mitigate IT frauds and insider threats.
D] Higher requirement of Cloud Security: For the IT operational convenience and scalability, and to survive in the race of digital advancement, global organizations are adopting the cloud-based IT infrastructure. Cloud computing offers a host of services that fastens the IT innovation along with the development of services and applications.
Nevertheless, cloud environments always bear higher security risks arising from poor access controls to cloud resources. Absence of user authentication mechanism could be catastrophic when there are multiple privileged identities in the IT environment. Privileged access is one of the most vulnerable areas as organizations with distributed and shared identities access cloud resources.
Hence, ARCON believes that Identity and Access Control technologies along with Privileged Access Management will continue to be adopted by global organizations. Security pros will not only focus on scalability of solutions but will also look to have comprehensive capabilities in the solutions. Robust authorization and authentication, identity federation, SSO, digital vaults for password randomization, granular controls, privileged access on-demand are some of the critical security features that will witness an accelerated adoption.
E] Compliance: Data security and privacy are two of the most important components in any IT standard and regulatory compliance. And as more and more organizations continue to adopt managed service providers, cloud computing and private clouds, security pros will have to bear more responsibility towards compliance.
Not only that, corporate data flowing within organization’s different data centers located in different geographies will require utmost security and confidentiality. Although most IT security standards and regulations cover all aspects of data security and integrity, some central banks and regional authorities have certain additional requirements. Therefore, organizations have to be vigilant, audit-ready and stay compliant to various standards.
Due to increasing stringency in the compliance landscape, organizations that have strong IT governance, conduct regular IT audits and follow the mandates by default will be positioned to keep non-compliance penalties at bay. Whether a MNC or SME, 2022 is expected to foster hair-split analysis of the compliance mandates.
Every industry in the post-pandemic era is observing drastic changes in the IT security environment. As we welcome 2022, the above forecasts give a strong indication that adequate security measures are ‘must’ for every MNC and SME. Organizations will have to realign their overall cybersecurity posture in the changing times. Stay safe and secure with ARCON! Happy 2022!