Top Business CyberSecurity Trends for 2021
By Laura Cowan
Laura K. Cowan is a tech editor and journalist whose work has focused on promoting sustainability initiatives for automotive, green tech, and conscious living media outlets.
This post is sponsored by cloud consulting firm Trek10, who support businesses by migrating their data to the cloud and protecting them from security threats. All content and views expressed are those of the participants and do not necessarily reflect those of Trek10. If you would like to sponsor news coverage of tech companies and trends in your industry or region, please contact the editor.
Small business and enterprise alike have been forced through a rapid adoption of new security measures to make sure that company data is secure while working remote during the coronavirus pandemic. As companies migrate to the cloud and deal with new security threats, it’s a lot for the average business to keep up with. Especially if you are a small business and don’t have a dedicated team working on cybersecurity. With that in mind, we have put together a list of top business cybersecurity trends for 2021, to keep your company on top of the latest security issues relevant to all business. If you're interested in a security assessment for your business, our sponsor Trek10 is offering a free security assessment to help you make sure your company data is secure and managed efficiently.
Cybersecurity Mesh & Security Savvy Boards
What are the top trends in cybersecurity in 2021? The list is topped by issues provoked by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the past year, the typical enterprise has been turned inside out,” says Peter Firstbrook, VP Analyst, Gartner Research. “As the new normal takes shape, all organizations will need an always-connected defensive posture, and clarity on what business risks remote users elevate to remain secure.” Gartner Research lists cybersecurity mesh, a security-savvy board of directors, and remote work as top trends in the security space for 2021. According to Gartner, cybersecurity of company and client data as well as regulatory compliance have become the top biggest concerns of corporate boards. Some are adding security experts to analyze risk, which isn’t a bad idea considering the number of important data breaches that occurred in the U.S. alone in the past year.
Cybersecurity mesh is a new approach to security architecture in which distributed organizations can deploy and extend security in areas of highest risk. This helps with managing remote workers and their data and communications, and helps when working with multiple technologies and integrations. Gartner recommends “security options that are flexible, agile, scalable and composable.” The idea? Deploy security where it’s needed most, and make sure your top management has eyes on the problem and knows how to evaluate risks ahead of time.
This video conferencing app from Ontario company Tauria was big news in 2020 because it was the first end-to-end encrypted video conferencing software for remote work--a relief for companies needing to be compliant with medical industry regulations on patient privacy, or companies needing to remote conference securely.
Zero-Trust Networks & Confidential Computing
Infosecurity Magazine lists top cloud security issues moving into 2021 to include Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA) in lieu of VPNs, serverless computing, and confidential computing. “ZTNA... revolves around creating a zero-trust policy--no user, transaction, or network traffic is trusted unless scrutinized through ZTNA lenses. This means that ZTNA moves beyond simple dichotomies thrusting both trusted and untrusted network traffics into the same bucket.”
The problem here is that traditional VPNs aren’t designed to handle modern remote work. A new setup is required to verify network traffic. Expect to see many solutions in this space this year parallel to how Zoom and remote video conferencing companies had to create more secure end-to-end encrypted solutions from remote work to healthcare-compliant options for providers and patients in 2020 practically overnight.
Vendor & Integration Consolidation
We’ve seen this in the auto industry as OEMs streamline supplier parts needed for simplified vehicle lines. As automotive is a technology space that increasingly requires security measures for integrated technology and data in connected vehicles, it’s not so different from a software startup that needs to keep a handle on how many vendors, technologies, and integrations they’re working with. Gartner found in its 2020 CISO Effectiveness Survey that “78% of CISOs have 16 or more tools in their cybersecurity vendor portfolio; 12% have 46 or more. Too many security vendors results in complex security operations and increased security headcount.”
If you’re dealing with the complexity of security issues in multiple technologies, consider paring down to tools that have more security measures and that can handle more tasks in one place. Reducing the surface size of your security threats might not be the only tool in your toolbox or practical in all cases, but it’s one way to scale down the problem. Gartner claims “80% of organizations [are] interested in [a] vendor consolidation strategy.”
As this image from SIBROS implies, data connectivity and security are now not only an issue for office buildings and remote work, but even connected vehicles on the road.
Reimagining Organizational Workflows for Software Security
Checkmarx predicts that after an unprecedented push to enable most of the United States to work from home in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, the next big shift of 2021 will require IT professionals to shore up the cloud and reimagine organizational workflows to keep up with software development and adapt to the cloud. “Developing and releasing applications fast while maintaining security is a mindset that while talked about, is not being executed effectively…. The current philosophy from many organizations is to get software quickly into production and roll back if a bug is found, so they can push features in a faster manner. But this doesn’t work with security. You can’t push code and then roll back to fix vulnerabilities, as it presents an opportunity for malicious actors to infiltrate your systems.” Checkmarx expects that in 2021, the tools used for application security must work more rapidly, and present findings in a manner so that developers can make quick fixes to security threats.
Security-Minded SaaS & Cloud Storage Solutions
Security media outlet Threatpost agrees that 2021 will bring multiple security threats to mobile and home computing because of the distributed workforce. “Cloud adoption, spurred by pandemic work realities, will only accelerate in the year ahead with software-as-a-service, cloud-hosted processes and storage driving the charge. A study by Rebyc found that 35 percent of companies surveyed said they plan to accelerate workload migration to the cloud in 2021. Budget allocations to cloud security will grow from single-digit to double as companies look to protect 2020 cloud buildouts in the year ahead.”
Is your company migrating to the cloud because of remote work or security issues? You're not alone. Gartner names “distributed cloud” as a future focus for business cloud priorities that will have security implications.
Even artificial intelligence webinars like those run by Stefanini out of Detroit have recently focused on how to secure massive amounts of data processed through AI chat bots, machine learning, and the distributed assets of companies spread over the globe.
Security Budgets Growing
Every company has been stretched by the COVID-19 pandemic forcing a rapid shift in how companies do business and manage data and workflow. How can a company decide how much budget is necessary to put toward security threats, especially if they don’t have a large IT or security team? More than ever before, we’re seeing new cloud security solutions come out of consulting firms or SaaS companies who are creating various levels of security solutions for everyone from non-tech startups to enterprise so that solutions to these problems are scalable and work with the level of security expertise available within each business. Unfortunately we are expecting security to be a big budget issue in 2021, but on the up side, the solutions are quickly forthcoming as well. There is now a security solution for every size organization and every budget.
Lack of IT Expertise
And what if you are a smaller business that doesn't have a dedicated security team? What if you don't know where to start? Checkpoint lists “lack of IT expertise” as a top security issue for the upcoming year. As development outpaces security, the attack surface of many organizations is hard to keep up with. If your company is struggling to keep up with multiple security threats or get eyes on the full problem, an independent assessment of the problem can be helpful.
The Trek10 team based out of Indiana helps companies assess security threats and migrate company data to the cloud in a secure manner to avoid data breaches.
If you're looking for support for your business's security operations, the sponsor of this post, Trek10, is offering a free security assessment running through the month of May. Sign up for the free Trek10 security assessment to learn more about how to protect your business from security threats.
Our thanks to Trek10 for their generous sponsorship of news coverage in the cloud computing and cybersecurity space. To learn more about advertising and content sponsorship opportunities with Cronicle Press Tech News, please visit our Sponsorship page or contact the editor for more details on sponsorship opportunities.