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Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ: PANW), the global cybersecurity leader, released its predictions for the cybersecurity trends that will shape the digital landscape for the year ahead. In 2021, organizations continued to navigate the impact of the global pandemic, which saw rising levels of innovation and digital transformation. As a result, cyber attackers also grew in sophistication. The impact of ransomware attacks also reached an unprecedented scale, posing a threat to thousands of businesses around the world and threatening critical infrastructure.
As we approach 2022, it’s important that organizations remain cognizant of emerging trends. Cybersecurity is everyone’s business: individuals, businesses, and governments must take a proactive approach to cybersecurity and have appropriate solutions in place to stay ahead of threats:
The meteoric rise of bitcoin will create a well-funded adversary:
Cryptocurrency will fuel the rise and evolution of the ransomware industry, with larger attacks on important infrastructure, while calls for its regulation gain traction. Because of its decentralized character, it will be difficult for regulators to track down the perpetrators. As a result, businesses must concentrate on enhancing their cybersecurity posture and determining their level of preparedness for an attack, as well as conducting tabletop exercises to identify any security weaknesses that must be fixed. Collaboration between cybersecurity providers, cloud providers, and telecommunications providers will help disrupt successful attacks and impose real costs on attackers.
As physical and digital lines blur, who or what we trust will impact our security even more:
Increased interactions with smart, intuitive devices with sensory triggers will create reams of digital data that will double up in existing physical spaces. Given this hyper-connectedness of networks, organizations need to draw up a strategic approach that will provide complete visibility into the security infrastructure. A Zero Trust architecture combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities can enable enterprises to profile, correlate and contextualize and apply threat prevention tools to each connected device, thus eliminating implicit trust and validating every stage of digital interaction.
Attackers will set their eyes on countries’ critical digital infrastructure:
Cyberattacks on essential infrastructure, with confidential and lucrative data, worldwide, are on rise. These attacks have revealed that the implementation of cybersecurity protocols is significantly slower than the rate of digitalization across countries. With hackers aiming to dent the critical infrastructure, we need to fastrack improved global policies and regulatory collaboration. Governments and businesses must encourage the creation of safeguards against complex threats, particularly those that target critical infrastructure through supply chain gaps. Time-strapped security teams will benefit from technologies like behavioural analytics and SOAR.
A borderless workforce will need borderless solutions:
With remote work gaining long-term acceptance and homes evolving into workplaces, cybercriminals have switched their focus from targeting corporate offices to attacking individuals. To contend with this new reality, enterprises will have to evolve beyond their corporate networks, deploy remote work solutions and bring unified security policy management to remote employees. This will take form in the deployment of new integrated solutions like Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). Combining security, networking, and digital experience management, SASE solutions will be critical in bringing about both security and operational efficiency. We can also expect a lot more harmonization, or application rationalization, around the all-remote-access technologies that people use, such as VPNs, which can be complex to work out.
The API economy will usher in a new era of digital fraud and exploits:
In an emerging web 3.0 scenario, digital experience and banking will be a primary differentiator for financial institutions. With the rise of open-banking and hyper growth of Fintech, poor programming or security misconfigurations at the application interface levels (API) could provide cybercriminals with greater opportunities to carry out identity theft, fraud, and unauthorized data collection. Public-private participation through awareness and educational programs would be central to every security strategy. Special focus would have to be given to groups like the elderly, who may be more susceptible to fraud as new users of digital banking platforms. Simultaneously, enterprises will need to adopt DevSecOps, which will ensure their infrastructure is tested for security problems before it goes public, allowing their IT teams to plan for any security issues that might appear after deployment. In addition, organizations should implement API security to their inventory and assess the security of external-facing APIs. Monitoring and addressing any anomalous activities within API interactions is also vital.
Mitigating tomorrow’s threats will require a greater leadership commitment, collaboration, and effective communication to drive a mindset shift to view cybersecurity as a team sport between governments, enterprises, and individuals.