As we close out the year (and the decade), it is time to reflect on the past 12 months and look ahead to the next year. 2019 was a busy year for cybersecurity with increased attacks, data breaches and more. Local governments, schools, police, and other agencies were hit hard by ransomware attacks which can paralyze towns and city systems. It’s a year that saw a wave of organizations move to the cloud and an increased debate around cloud security. It’s also a year that saw national security and election security take center stage.
As I reflect on the trends in my 2019 predictions blog, many topics such as machine learning, cloud computing, and market consolidation will continue to be hot topics in security. In 2020, there are a few emerging cybersecurity trends that I will be following.
IOTs Bring New Security Challenges
For the past decade, we heard a lot about the Internet of Things (IOTs) – from smart homes to smart appliances to smart speakers to smartwatches. As connected IOTs become mainstream and penetrate all aspects of consumer and business activities, we will see major security issues involving IOT.
I expect CPU power and the level of connectivity to increase in previously unconnected consumer and industrial devices/products. More industrial, construction or manufacturing products will become smart and connected. We will see items like parts or containers that are capable of identifying, locating or navigating themselves to the right place. Every bar code will be an IoT device open to connections from outside.
All of these new connections pose increased security risks for businesses especially those in manufacturing and digital supply chains. Many of these new IOT devices will connect to your network or require management and orchestration using privileged credentials. Organizations will not be able to take a ‘set it and forget it’ approach. It will require ongoing privileged access management and monitoring to ensure all IOT / machine credentials are secure, authenticated and rotated. This will help lower the risk of being impacted by advanced threats through unsecured IOT.
Cybersecurity Could Stall Innovation
The last decade (or two) has seen tremendous technological innovation and progress. In the next decade, its possible that innovation and engineering progress could be stalled or halted by our inability to address cybersecurity challenges. Many of our new industrial facilities will be critically dependent on their connectivity and use of smart devices. At the same time, they will be constrained by cybersecurity. Until security can be addressed, these efficient, clean and safe chemical/ energy plants may not be able to compete with the older, less efficient (more polluting) facilities.
Cybersecurity and Privacy Drives New Content Platforms
Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and other social media platforms have all been in the news related to data privacy and cybersecurity threats. Governments and consumers are taking notice. As a result, more regulations will be imposed and security /privacy will take center stage. This could lead to a fundamental change in authoring and distributing information replacing both traditional news outlets and new social media platforms. These changes will be based on the technologies originally produced to handle cybersecurity and privacy issues.
Post Quantum Encryption
Quantum computing is still off in the distance as far as we know. However, many in the cryptography field are actively rethinking our current encryption algorithms. Within the next 10 years, there will likely be quantum computers capable of breaking traditional encryption algorithms. This means that all encrypted data is at risk. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is currently working on potential options for a standardized method for quantum-proof encryption. Companies like IBM are already working on this and incorporating new postquantum encryption methods into their software. As NIST settles on new encryption standards in the next few years, you will see software companies implement postquantum encryption into their products to ensure the highest level of security.