Five Cybersecurity trends CISOs must track in 2021

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Five Cybersecurity trends CISOs must track in 2021, according to Neelesh Kripalani, SVP & Head – Center of Excellence, Clover Infotech.

As we head into a new decade, it’s obvious to think about what the future will have in store for us. The year 2020 will be the one that everyone would like to forget.

From a cybersecurity perspective too, this year was buzzing for all the wrong reasons. While the world focused on COVID-19 posed health and economic threats, cybercriminals around the world were capitalizing on this crisis.

However, to forget the events of the year and move on without learning will be a big mistake which one should avoid.

Here are the Five Cybersecurity trends CISOs must track in 2021 in order to beef up organisational cybersecurity.

  1. Cloud-based Cybersecurity:
    Covid-19 has fast-tracked the shift towards cloud adoption in 2020 and as a result, cloud-based cybersecurity has evolved along the way too. Organisations traditionally kept their networks secure by locally installing anti-virus, anti-malware and other software.

However, with increased cloud adoption and improved sophistication of cyber-attacks, these conventional security mechanisms are no longer sufficient. A cloud-based cybersecurity strategy’s use offers more benefits than traditional security strategies, especially if its cloud-based network.

  1. Zero Trust’ Cybersecurity (Never Trust, Always Verify):
    Every organisation, irrespective of their size, can fall prey to cyber-attacks. The traditional approach to cybersecurity relies upon barriers (aka firewalls) that control traffic coming in and out of a network. With this approach, the problem is explosion of cloud computing and we are more connected globally than ever before.

Thus, adopting ‘Zero Trust’ approach makes more sense as it assumes no barriers i.e. don’t trust anything by default, starting with the network. ‘Zero Trust’ ensures that critical assets can only be reached by those offering proof positive such as their credentials, identity, and access need.

  1. SOC becomes the necessity:
    Security Operations Center (SOC) is a centralised unit dealing with high-quality IT security operations. As opposed to a traditional IT department, the SOC team comprises of highly experienced cybersecurity analysts and trained engineers.

Considering the evolving nature of cyberattacks, it will become imperative (especially for large organisations) to form a SOC team that can help to stay ahead of potential threats.

  1. AI-enabled Cybersecurity:
    To keep up with the rate and speed of cyberattacks is extremely difficult for humans. Thus, using technologies such as AI to beef up cybersecurity and improve the rate of responding to attack is more of a necessity than a matter of choice.

Unlike humans, bots are very good at repeating the same tasks a million times. Although cybersecurity is benefitting from the use of AI (and its subsets- ML and DL) to stem the flow of cyberattacks. Cybersecurity experts should also do due diligence periodically to ensure there is no glitch for hackers to exploit.

  1. Data Analytics:
    The advantage of digital is the availability of the data. This data could help organisations to stay one step ahead of hackers. Data Analytics (or Big Data Analytics) can be one of the most effective tools to prevent cyberattacks.

If used correctly, this data can help to identify anomalies in user behaviour, network activities etc. which can be useful to detect and respond to cyberattacks better.

These five Cybersecurity trends CISOs must track but are not the least and CISOs need to be proactive!

Cyber risks are here to stay and they are going to rise (as it only takes one bad click to breach your system). However, another fact is that your approach to cybersecurity will decide the impact of a cyberattack.

There is enough data available to prove how proactive approach to cybersecurity has helped organisations to minimize the impact of attacks. As compared to the ones with reactive approach as they were caught completely off guard.

Unfortunately, typically it takes a breach to get the cybersecurity ball rolling in the organisation. This needs to change in 2021 and cybersecurity experts from SMEs to large enterprises need to focus on the entire threat lifecycle in a proactive manner.

(This article is written by Neelesh Kripalani, SVP & Head – Center of Excellence, Clover Infotech.The views expressed in this article are of the author.)

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