Apu Pavithran is the founder and CEO of Hexnode | Mitsogo Inc. Recognized in the IT management community as a consultant, speaker, and thought leader, Apu has been a strong advocate for IT governance and Information security management. He’s passionate about entrepreneurship and spends significant time working with startups and empowering young entrepreneurs.
The SolarWinds attack on the US Federal Government in 2020 and the Log4j attack in 2021 are just two of the many devastating strikes the world has confronted in recent years. Small or big, private or government, ransomware and socially engineered attacks have infiltrated, exploited and destabilized every sector. With technological advancements, cyberspace has always been ground to unprecedented war between data protectors and data hackers. But with the onset of the pandemic, sectors like healthcare, education, and supply chains have been even more susceptible to attacks. Cyber incidents have overtaken business interruptions and natural catastrophes to become the most significant worldwide business risk.
Data breach cost rose to the highest in 2021, and compromised credentials are the chief reason for the breaches, says Ponemon University. While the trends and statistics seem depressing, the article intends to shed light on the forthcoming trends that a corporate must consider safeguarding their data and stay safe from the next attack.
The Trust No One phenomenon
While businesses were established on the notion of trust, no one anticipated a future where you couldn’t trust your own corporate network. The overwhelming surge in insider threats and identity theft amidst the pandemic has given impetus to the ZTNA (Zero Trust Network Access) revolution. The significance of Zero Trust has grown to the point where it is being considered at the national level, with the first example being President Biden’s declaration mandating zero trust for all government agencies. Forrester’s dedicated study on zero trust highlights that around 68% of organizations that participated in their research planned to expand their investment in Zero Trust, and 36% of the budget would be set aside for micro-segmentation.
While dividing your enterprise and edge network into micro-segments might be the foundation of Zero Trust, ensuring endpoint visibility, a concept that has made news in tandem with zero trust, is the step to start with. With the advent of hybrid work, corporate endpoints have found themselves dispersed throughout the network. Built on the axiom: you can’t control what you can’t see, endpoint visibility solutions give insight into the behavior of devices that access your network.
IoT devices are a beacon of technological progress, but they have also opened the door to a profusion of flaws. While legacy solutions, including VPN, might be insufficient to secure IOTs, zero trust could be the solution. Furthermore, integration with solutions such as IAM (Identity and Access Management) which ensures that the right user has the right access to the right resources, will take the game to a whole new level.
An Unbiased Solution- Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have remained confident in their ability to avoid detection by hackers. However, this has proven to be a tale of the past. Over half of SMBs were jeopardized by assaults the previous year, and just one in every four was adequately equipped to secure their data. Many SMBs believe that cybersecurity resources are out of their budget due to their unawareness of cost-effective solutions available for them, just as it is for large enterprises.
Running to the IT admin when your device goes awry was once a viable option when the proportion of 20 devices to one IT admin stood true. However, with the BYOD concept gaining traction, the number of devices in organizations has scaled over time, and the tables have flipped. UEMs, the latest avatar of Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions, are currently the preferred go-to solution for both SMBs and Fortune 500. With the inception of smartphones in workplaces, MDM solutions were introduced to manage corporate-owned devices. However, these MDM solutions were not intended to handle the whole range of BYODs, resulting in a superior form of MDMs, known as EMM (Enterprise Mobile Management) solutions. The limitations of both these solutions lead to the introduced UEM, which allowed IT administrators to manage and secure their device fleet from a single console, including smartphones, laptops, and Macs, as well as IoTs and wearables. In 2026, the Device Management market is predicted to grow from $5.5 billion to $20.4 billion. You can’t safeguard your devices unless you can see them, and UEM provides a clear window into the status and upgrades of your corporate devices. UEMs like Hexnode ensures everything from easy onboarding to app, content, network, device and security management.
UEMs have become a baseline security measure that every corporate must invest in. With sophisticated attacks, UEMs will eventually take a step ahead by integrating with solutions such as ZTNA and passwordless authentication.
Artificial Intelligence (AI): From Experimental to Essential
Many businesses have grown into tech behemoths by leveraging the data they have amassed over the years. Data in its raw form isn’t helpful. It needs to be turned into valuable information. Understanding the importance of information made Peter Sondergaard state,” Information is the oil of the 21st century and analytics is the combustion engine”. And this Information is what powers AI. According to researchers, though it still has a long way to go, 2022 would put AI one step ahead. The majority of the corporates currently are in the initial process of acquiring valuable data and converting it into useful information.
In 2021, it took an average of 287 days to detect and contain a breach that lasted longer than the 200-day threshold. Unfortunately, businesses fail to detect that they have been breached before it’s too late. AI in its best form would assist enterprises in real-time monitoring, allowing systems to detect, identify and respond to threats promptly. The earlier an attack is detected, the sooner it could be evaluated and remediated, and the lower the data breach cost.
Metaverse, the latest tech concept that has grabbed the attention of tech giants and is being passionately discussed across various platforms, was made possible through AI along with other technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and blockchains. From creating 3D avatars and digital beings to enabling language processing, Metaverse has become a fiction turned reality with the help of AI. While corporates see a future in the Metaverse, it opens the door to many unaddressed concerns. AI’s efficiency lies in the hands of its designer, as Stephen Hawkings, the greatest thinker of all times, argues, “AI is likely to be either the best or worst thing to happen to humanity”.
Cybercrime has always been on the rise, and only being vigilant and implementing appropriate security measures will defend us. The WannaCry ransomware attack, wherein corporations that failed to deploy the published patches were exploited, is a prime illustration of how organizations can be struck if proper security measures aren’t executed. While attack-as-a-service has gained pace in the dark side, self-healing endpoints, cyber resilience, and cybersecurity insurance are a few other notable tech concepts that businesses must be aware of in 2022. These solutions do not guarantee a threat-free environment but implementing the appropriate security measure could significantly limit the blast radius, contain the threat and, aid in quick recovery.