Why Cybersecurity Tomorrow May Not Be All That Different Than It Is Today

Cybersecurity has its tentacles in most aspects of business, regardless of industry. A guest commentary by Patricia Egger, senior consultant and security officer at the security company Kudelski Security.

As human beings, we tend to be concerned with what will change and what will be different tomorrow. In cybersecurity, experts provide their insights into trends and their vision for the future, answering questions about what threats lurk around the corner, what the next process to be automated will be and what the latest security technologies are. Organizations too look to the future of cybersecurity – for good reason. Ultimately, they want to invest their resources wisely.

However, the most serious challenges for years to come will remain the same as they are today. Indeed, cybersecurity professionals around the globe have been working on many of the same challenges, as our connected world continues to become bigger and smaller at the same time. This is due to three fundamental ­factors that are integral to the way the industry is shaped and operates.

First, people are a crucial component in cybersecurity. On one hand, they are the users of most of the systems and technologies on which security controls are applied. On the other hand, human beings are often the weakest link in any security process. In a world where the line between one’s home and office can no longer be ­divined, and with organizations moving from perimeter security models (think of a wall and moat protecting a castle) to data-centric security models (think of a hotel with a guarded main entrance where each room is protected by a se­parate key), the importance of individuals strictly following security policies and protocols wherever they go cannot be overstated.

Patricia Egger
... received her Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and worked for companies such as McKinsey and Deloitte. Since 2019 she works as senior consultant and security officer at the security company Kudelski Security.

Second, cybersecurity has its tentacles in most aspects of business, regardless of industry. This puts the topic on a strategic level, whe­ther or not it's considered as such in a given organiza­tion. With the industry in a state of perpetual improvement and change, security will continue to be a strategic driver for organizations that will need to ensure that their business models are aligned to society’s view of security ethics and expectations.

Finally, regular technological progress creates complex IT environments in which legacy, state-of-the-art and emerging technologies with heterogeneous security features and capabilities must coexist. These dependencies and interconnections have the potential to lead to severe incidents that are very difficult to manage.

Overall, the impetus for change in cybersecurity – be it emerging technologies, new re­gulations or novel working arrangements such as those introduced by pandemic confinement measures – will leave these three factors unchanged. As a result, the future of cybersecurity will likely be very similar to what it is today and it is up to organizations to seize the opportunity to make real progress by building solid foundations in areas of known stability.

Author: Patricia Egger

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

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