Cybersecurity Challenges to be Aware of in the Next Four Years

October 26, 2021

Cybercriminals are estimated to create the need for 3.5 million new cybersecurity jobs next year, and with new technologies continuously opening up new opportunities for exploitation, we can only expect this number to continue to rise. The great news is, businesses are taking this seriously – the worldwide cybersecurity market is currently worth $217B in 2020, and estimated to grow to $345B by 2026. But how should you allocate your budget to make sure your business is adequately protected? Here’s what to expect for the future of cybersecurity in the next four years.

When too much data becomes dangerous

“Data is the new oil.”  We’ve all heard this be touted around as the value of data continues to rise. With the adoption of IoT in our daily lives (both personal and professional), information and communication systems and physical infrastructure have become intertwined, causing the amount of data that has been collected to be in the zettabytes. But the combination of omnipresent sensors and constant connectivity causes alarm bells to ring when it comes to cybersecurity. 97% of IoT decision makers already have security concerns when connecting new assets, and as the amount of devices and data expands, so should the amount of concerns.

Why? Firstly, the existence of “bad data.” IBM estimates that poor management already costs U.S. businesses roughly $3 trillion annually. If you’re not taking a real-time inventory of the data you hold across all data source types, then you’re soon going to have huge blind spots when it comes to knowing what sensitive data is sitting in your organization, and how it needs protecting.

Secondly, the response to bad data is the exponential rise of Customer Data Platforms (CDP), which collect data from a variety of online and offline sources to convert the disparate data points into a standardized format. This consolidated data-sharing introduces a vulnerability that can be easily exploited by hackers, and so far has not yielded specific security measures.

Biometrics in the cloud

We’ve already seen fingerprint and facial recognition become built-in standards to many consumer-facing security measures (think about how you unlock your cell phone), and so far that biometric data has always been restricted to processing on the device itself rather than uploading the information to servers. However, in the next few years we can expect the turn of storing sensitive biometric data in the cloud.

With most biometric data being unchangeable (unless you want to consider surgery!), this will raise worries about what happens when that data is breached, and/or is made available to law enforcement. For example, if your credit card number leaks, you can get a new one. However, if a biometric scan of your hand is available on the dark web – well, you can’t get a new hand.

So the question for businesses will be, how do we continue to collect data in a way that feels easy, accessible and simple for our customers, and gives us the intel we need, but without invading human privacy. And if that data does leak, how can we protect ourselves?

Deep fakes twisting reality

Talking about biometrics, we already know that synthetic voice generators can trick software used to verify identity. There’s already been a slow and steady rise in audio deep fakes being used in a variety of fraudulent activities, including CEO fraud. And, given enough source material, AI programs can generate convincing fake pictures and video of pretty much anyone you like.

Over the next four years, we can expect for this to expand to video deep fakes. These manipulated videos can be extremely disruptive to organizations from a PR angle – for example, imagine your CEO shows up on a video saying something controversial that can cause your company’s stock value to swing wildly. By the time you can put out the word that the video is a fake, an investor could have taken affront and cashed all their stocks in. Even just the damage done to your company’s reputation could be irreparable. Protection from these clever manipulations will require security software to embrace AI and Machine Learning to help analyze and predict the real from the fake, and prevent it before it becomes an external threat.

5G networks and infrastructure convergence

5G networks aim to take connectivity to the next level by delivering connected experiences from the cloud to clients, and the anticipation of it becoming mainstream is that it will unlock countless applications, enable more robust automation and increase workforce mobility.

However, 5G technology will introduce advances throughout network architecture, which while allowing new capabilities, also expand the threat surface, opening the door to adversaries trying to infiltrate the network. It also presents cybersecurity teams with the issue of having to quickly learn how to identify and mitigate threats faster without impacting the latency or user experience.

More regulation and regulatory complexity

As businesses are becoming increasingly digitized and new innovations come to market, regulators are going to have to respond and try to understand the impact of these technology innovations on both customers and businesses – and this will likely be expressed as laws.

Anticipating and preparing for these types of trends is therefore crucial to gaining an advantage over cybercriminals. Gartner has cited the need for the concept of “cyber-safety” to become an established legal talking point, with a broader focus on the “life, kinetic and high risk events that can harm an organization or its customers,” rather than just traditional IT security.

The future of security is changing

While we can’t predict the future (as the last 20 months have certainly shown us!), it’s clear that there are some strategic areas businesses need to start looking at and preparing defenses for. However being defensive only, is not enough. Use these trends as starting points to create an offensive roadmap of how to best protect your organization. If you’re not sure where to start, Konica Minolta and All Covered’s end-to-end security portfolio puts the right controls in place for a safe and secure working environment. Contact us today to find out how to operate successfully with confidence in the future of work.

In partnership with Microsoft 365, Konica Minolta and All Covered have created an ebook covering how to assess your security performance, ways to lower your ransomware risk, the importance of endpoint security and how to embrace the opportunities of digitalization securely. Download it for free here.

Jason Nash
National Sales Manager for Managed Security Services