The Next Big Thing in Cybersecurity

The Next Big Thing in Cybersecurity

The speedy evolution of IT and the maturity of emerging technologies are driving digital transformation on a global scale and precipitating the pervasive adoption of digital technology across industries. However, this constant evolution keeps many cybersecurity professionals up at night.

As IT continues to evolve, it creates new opportunities and tools for attackers and cyberterrorists to gain access and manipulate personal and business data. Cybersecurity experts not only have to mitigate and prevent existent attacks, but they are also tasked with creating solutions that safeguard data, systems, and networks by predicting and preempting emerging threats.

Unfortunately, these behind the scenes accomplishments are never lauded by the news media. Rather, sensational stories involving cybersecurity incidents and instances where state actors and malicious hackers bypassed security measures are all that’s reported.

Cybersecurity experts and hackers are in a constant, unending race against each other. The latter is continually looking to create and exploit vulnerabilities in legacy and emerging technologies. The former has to develop innovative risk-defensive strategies to thwart the desires of the latter.

With the cost of cybersecurity incidents projected to reach $6 trillion by 2021, the stakes of the race are pretty high. While the complexity and scale of cyberattacks are indeed daunting, keeping informed on trends and the latest innovations in cybersecurity is a great way to mitigate their impact.

Without further ado, let’s explore some of the latest trends shaping the future of the cybersecurity industry.

Ten Trends That Are Reshaping Cybersecurity

1. Security-first paradigm

Many software development companies have moved on from the waterfall method to DevOps and agile software development practices to speed up the deployment of software to production. Such an approach means that encryption and security were usually after-thoughts and later added on to systems and applications.

However, this paradigm is changing. In the future, developers will leverage DevSecOps and take a security-first approach when building applications.

It’s far cheaper and more efficient to integrate security from the get-go (at the beginning of the software development life cycle), and this requires retraining developers into cybersecurity experts.

2. Quantum-resistant cryptography (QRC) algorithms

For decades, institutions and firms have used encryption to secure sensitive information from the eyes of all but authorized users with access to the decryption keys. However, the advent of quantum computing may enable malicious actors to perform fast, efficient brute force attacks with higher chances of success. 

The solution? Leverage quantum-resistant cryptography (QRC) algorithms to stop cyber attackers in their tracks. These algorithms will be able to run on traditional computers and secure them from quantum computer-enabled attacks.

3. AI-powered cybersecurity platforms

AI is quickly becoming an integral part of the multi-layered security approach favored by many organizations. It is lauded by many experts as the future of the cybersecurity industry. AI and machine learning algorithms will power the next generation of firewalls, advanced AVs, and sophisticated cybersecurity solutions.

AI can effectively analyze user behavior in real-time, deduce patterns and detect unusual and suspicious behaviors within networks. On the flip side, hackers are equally leveraging the power of machine learning to create and deploy AI-powered malware.

As the technology matures, we expect to see data and network security solutions that automatically learn from emerging threats and security incidents and adapts its threat detection and mitigation abilities in real-time.

4. The rise of container breakout vulnerabilities

The increasing popularity of containers and containerization platforms (such as Kubernetes and Docker) will give rise to more container breakout vulnerabilities. Misconfigurations and breakout vulnerabilities in one container can compromise the integrity of others due to the complete logical isolation resulting from scenarios where containers share kernel space.

It’s important for cybersecurity experts to keep a close eye on this class of vulnerabilities and seek innovative, holistic solutions to mitigate threats from such vectors.

5. Uniquely customized security solutions

Most cybersecurity firms offer one-size-fits-all security services, where data and network security platforms are designed to secure systems in a wide range of industries. 

Right now, there’s a gradual shift towards the development of more robust cybersecurity solutions, intelligently designed to identify and protect against threats unique to certain industry ecosystems. Such solutions will be based on predictive technologies that deliver real-time protection to specific sectors.

6. Increased use of Data Access Security Brokers

The growing use of data access security brokers will shape the future of access control, and by extension, the cybersecurity landscape. By separating the tools used for access control from the data itself, organizations can retain control of data and grant users access via a secure layer. This layer will be designed to validate policies, authenticate, and authorize devices and users.

7. Secure Multiparty Computation

The advent of secure multiparty computation (MPC) is a boon for cryptography, especially in cloud environments. It’s an innovative, cost-effective way to improve the response of cybersecurity technologies while mitigating insider threats and improving authentication. 

By creating an avenue where authorized parties can jointly execute tasks while keeping parameters private, MPC provides privacy for all parties while preventing hackers from eavesdropping on the exchange.

8. The pervasive adoption of homomorphic encryption

Homomorphic encryption/security is about to go mainstream. It will thoroughly secure the mountains of data lying in commercial cloud environments and associated databases. Essentially, homomorphic encryption allows operations and computations to be performed on encrypted data. 

With this, you can use data stored in untrusted environments without worrying about your networks or system being compromised.

9. Proxy re-encryption (PRE)

Essentially, proxy re-encryption schemes allow third-parties to alter data that has been encrypted for a specific party, to enable decryption by another party. PRE is a type of public-key encryption that allows proxy entities to re-encrypt data without necessarily having access to private keys. 

This allows anyone to store private data on public decentralized networks. Data owners don’t need to understand encryption or the complexities of key management to grant or terminate access to encrypted data.

10. Micro-segmentation

At the moment, traditional perimeter-based network defense is becoming increasingly porous and obsolete in the cybersecurity industry. Microsegmentation will create a new and more secure network perimeter. One that will function as a logical air gap by dividing IT infrastructures into very granular segments. 

Each segment is protected and “walled-off” from the others. This diminishes a network’s attack surface, effectively reducing exposure to attacks and the impact of security incidents.

Tackling the cybersecurity skills gap

Every year, over 100 billion lines of code are created globally to fill the need for rapid innovation and digitization of virtually every aspect of our lives. Such enormous amounts of code mean more vulnerabilities, making the task of securing IT infrastructure and data a daunting one. 

IT personnel must upskill and retrain themselves in cybersecurity to tackle the increasingly difficult task of securing data, systems, and networks in the face of the ever-widening cybersecurity skills gap.