6 cybersecurity predictions for 2020

Thomas Fillaud, VP, Global Head of Cybersecurity at Sogeti gives his six cybersecurity predictions for 2020 and says that there are many more; in a rapidly-changing security landscape.

1. Increasingly aggressive threat landscape

My first prediction for 2020 will ring alarm bells. That’s because I believe we will see a heightened risk of successful ransomware attacks globally. In fact, 2020 could well be the year of companies, public entities or cities being brought down by ransomware. Why is this likely? Quite simply, the criminals are getting smarter. They are using new technologies and becoming more organized. What’s more, with the money they make from their criminal activities, they can invest in increasingly more sophisticated attack technology. In this landscape, it is clear that all companies must have robust backup and recovery plans in place, as well as crisis management processes.

2. The rise of machine identity security

Machine identity security is a new area of cybersecurity that I predict will grow rapidly in the coming years. That’s because the more digital companies become, the more machines they use, from internet of things and connected objects, to the automation of processes, APIs and applications. Cybercriminals are targeting the identities of these machines because they are currently not managed properly. They thus provide a back door into the digital enterprise for cyber attackers. The digital enterprise must move fast to monitor and protect its machine identities.

3. Analytics and automation

Last year, I predicted a growth in analytics and automation to improve security capabilities. This growth will continue in 2020, with security teams becoming more organized in terms of how they apply automation and use analytics. I also expect to see a lot this activity being undertaken within outsourced managed services contracts because the investment needed to keep security operations up to date is too high for most companies. Thus, we’ll see managed service providers delivering orchestration tools and automated security management, with a high level of integration in the IT management systems.

4. Shift left cybersecurity

Security in the development lifecycle is critical to assure business outcomes and we have seen the emergence of DevSecOps to manage this. For 2020, I expect security to shift further left in the cycle, with a ‘security by design’ approach that embeds security at the very earliest stages of development. This will help to address security concerns in the development of new technologies and the innovations that can differentiate a business. Expect also to see continuous, automated security testing on everything as part of this shift left.

5. Focus on supply chain security

Business is global. This gives a potential attacker an opportunity to focus on smaller, less protected suppliers to activate their kill chain, rather than trying to get directly inside corporate networks. That’s why security cannot be limited to the company perimeter. Rather, it must extend across the supply chain. If a supplier is vulnerable to attack, then so is the business depending on that supplier. I expect a much stronger focus on supply chain cyber security to be a big trend in 2020 as this type of attack escalates. Companies will push their cybersecurity concerns out to their suppliers, perhaps with clauses in contracts or specific response requirements in tender documents. I also believe that we will see joint initiatives to create a strong sectoral approach to supply chain security, such as in the aircraft industry. It’s the responsibility of major industry leaders to help their suppliers strengthen their cybersecurity.

6. No trust, no business

More and more, we see cybersecurity being cited as a big concern in major digital transformation programs. New big deals will simply not happen without being strongly backed by cybersecurity management. There is increasing awareness that when security fails—say with a data breach—customer trust dwindles. That’s why my final prediction for 2020 is that many companies failing to protect systems and data from cyber attack may not be in business in 12 months’ time.

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Thomas Fillaud

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