The Future of Cybersecurity – Key Concerns for Enterprise Leaders in 2023
Expansive growth in technology, AI and machine learning has enabled more advanced and frequent cyber threats – an issue that is sure to continue as more and more advances are made.
“Cybersecurity used to be relatively simple – like blocking off only 3 lanes of traffic. Now the number of lanes to block off is growing exponentially”
Madhu, Rediminds CEO
Let’s go over some trends and where we think the main cybersecurity concerns for enterprises lie as we head into 2023.
Changes to Fundamental Ways of Working
The Covid-19 pandemic induced a drastic and sudden change to the way we do things in business. Companies of all sizes were forced into survival mode, making immediate decisions and temporary procedural changes to keep functioning.
Now, as companies and individuals attempt to move forward, it’s clear that a lot of the new ways of working are here to stay. So it’s time to start building them into the fundamental procedures of our businesses – leaving behind the state of temporary emergency.
Pre-pandemic, remote working was something of an exception rather than the rule. But in such a short space of time, anyone who could work from home was doing so.
Some businesses have since returned to normal office-based work. But statistics show that more and more companies have adopted a remote workforce in a more permanent way. A recent study shows that in the UK for example, staff now only visit the office for an average of 1.4 days a week post-pandemic compared with an average of 3.8 days pre-pandemic.
With this new way of working, it’s vital that enterprises have cybersecurity procedures in place to account for an often substantial increase in devices connecting to their network, devices connecting from different locations, and making servers available – and secure – outside the office.
The Flow of Information
Where information is coming from, going to, and how it’s transmitted is ever evolving.
And the shift towards remote working has made the need for cloud and hybrid cloud servers even more apparent, coupled with the increasing prevalence of the IoT (Internet of Things).
In 2019 there were 10 billion connected devices, which is estimated to triple to 30.9 billion by 2025. This increase in information flow brings with it added threats and more opportunities for malicious code to get into your network and systems.
It’s imperative that security teams recognize and monitor the open vulnerabilities and where potential threats could be coming from.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) models are phenomenal at identifying patterns and alerting IT teams to any abnormalities. Harnessing this trait along with the ability to analyze masses of data in real-time makes for an excellent solution to combating cybercrime.
So much so that IBM explains that companies with a fully developed AI and automation program are able to identify and contain data breaches 28 days faster than those that didn’t, resulting in an average saving of $3.05 million.
We have a full article all about artificial intelligence in cyber security, but here are some key areas to keep in mind for 2023:
IT Asset Inventory
IT asset inventory management is the process of keeping an updated record of all the IT hardware and software within an enterprise’s network.
Traditionally this was a manual process carried out by IT teams, allowing threats to slip through the cracks as the number of IT assets is ever growing:
- More hardware and software is adopted as the organization grows
- Old hardware is retired or upgraded to new models
- Users are both added and removed
- Software is and should be updated regularly
The adoption of AI and ML automation makes it possible to optimize asset usage and supports the mitigation of cyber risks by knowing exactly what assets are in use and identifying where potential threats are likely to come from.
This is especially critical given the recent change in how businesses operate as remote working means more devices operating on potentially unsecured wi-fi networks, and more software for cloud computing, storage, and communications.
Automated Malware Detection and Prevention
Every 11 seconds, a business falls victim to ransomware.
Hackers are increasingly finding new ways to bypass signature-based detection techniques – calling for a more advanced means of detecting and preventing malware threats.
Signature-based detection, although not without its merits, can only detect known threats.
Enter AI and ML-based tools that can detect unknown threats – by scanning software to search for characteristics, not signatures.
When abnormal characteristics such as software trying to rapidly encrypt many files or if the software itself has never been seen by the tool before, these characteristics can be flagged in real-time.
A staggering 90% of passwords are vulnerable to attack, which makes it no surprise that 80% of data breaches are linked to weak passwords.
Passwords are archaic and are one of the biggest weaknesses in the cybersecurity of organizations.
The introduction of multi-factor authentication, or better yet, completely passwordless authentication, should be an absolutely critical focus point for the security teams of every organization.
Passwordless authentication can be achieved with biometrics such as facial recognition and fingerprints. And unlike standard passwords, no two captures of biometric data are identical. Thus, intelligent biometric systems make a ‘judgment’ as to whether the biometric data is ‘similar enough’ to the data captured when the individual enrolled and it is extremely hard to replicate by a potential hacker.
Biometric authentication coupled with a secondary verification method like an OTP (one-time password) is the safest form of system access for both employees and customers.
Microsoft actually claims that MFA authentication is so effective that it prevents 99.9% of the 300 million fraudulent sign-in attempts made every single day.
Adoption of Zero-Trust Policies
Gartner predicts that 60% of organizations will embrace zero trust as a starting point for security by 2025.
This strategic approach is based on the principle of “never trust, always verify” and involves constant monitoring and re-validating of any digital interactions.
Business areas that require this constant monitoring and verification include:
- Users: By using strong authentication of user access
- Applications: By continuously monitoring run time and communications between applications
- Infrastructure: By monitoring anything related to a company infrastructure (routers, switches, the cloud, etc.) in a zero trust manner
The Human Element
Gartner predicts that by 2026, 50% of C-level executives will have performance requirements related to risk built into their employment contracts.
Meaning that the ramifications of lack of preparedness and risk management could be as severe as contract termination. That’s why management of the human element is so crucial.
Training the Wider Workforce
Although the adoption of AI as part of an organization’s wider digital transformation initiatives should be at the forefront of focus in the coming years, technology can only go so far.
Training the workforce to enhance awareness of cyber threats should remain a #1 priority.
After all, it is a person that clicks a malicious link, opens a fraudulent email, falls victim to a phishing attempt or mistakenly downloads malware to their device. Thus, one of the best forms of prevention is education.
Leveling up Your Security Teams
Building a security team with the right expertise ensures greater responsiveness in the event of a breach and proactiveness in preventing those threats in the first place.
However, the ever-growing complexity of cyber-attacks and a shortage of cybersecurity experts put leaders in a difficult position, unable to secure the right expertise in-house.
As an expert implementation partner in leading security solutions like Transmit Security and Okta, our team at RediMinds is poised to bridge that gap and partner with you to effectively execute the right security solutions to protect your organization.
For more information, check out our Identity and Access Management Solution, or get in touch to speak with a security expert about leveling up your security team with RediMinds.