Just like the flavor of an Everlasting Gobstopper, cybersecurity professionals are working around the clock to keep businesses secure. But in a world full of innovation and technology advancements, there are also many threat actors working day and night, attempting to infiltrate these systems and networks. Because of the increasing threat from external and internal parties, cybersecurity leaders must keep up with the latest cybersecurity trends to outsmart the threat actors—whether their intent is intentional or unintentional.
TechTarget states, “2023 will likely see a boost in spending as top-level executives face increasing pressure to improve their security posture.” What will cybersecurity teams spend their budget on this year? Rather, what should they prioritize to amplify their security? Below, we’ve listed the top 8 trends in cybersecurity that are shaping up security standards and procedures in 2023. Let’s dive in.
1. Dynamic Trust Will Gain Popularity in Zero Trust Organizations
Zero Trust is a security framework that assumes every user (internal or external) is a potential risk. Therefore, a Zero Trust security model requires all users to be authenticated, authorized, and validated before being granted access to systems and data. Sounds pretty good, right? The problem is, user risk is not factored into today’s Zero Trust programs. Without an understanding of user risk, Zero Trust systems treat all users as having the same level of user risk. This places harsh restrictions on low-risk workers, hindering productivity. Without user risk, Zero Trust relies on a one-size-fits-all approach to the human element. We expect to see more integration of user risk into identity and access solutions in 2023.
Dynamic Cyber Trust injects human-risk into the Zero Trust mindset to create a predictive, continuous, adaptive, and human-centric approach to security at the intersection of people, processes, and technology. DCT uses a 360 degree view of user risk to identify workers most at risk of triggering a security incident. High-risk users are given tailored safeguards to prevent real-time incidents. We included DCT as one of the cybersecurity trends for 2023 as we expect to see DCT increase its popularity ranking among organizations whose employees are fed up with security restrictions slowing down their productivity.
➡️ To learn more about Dynamic Cyber Trust, check out our Friendly Fire Podcast episode with Luke Simonetti, Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton’s Commercial Practice. In this episode, Luke explains what Dynamic Trust is and how it differs from Zero Trust.
2. The Talent Shortage will Pose Risks (and Rewards) for Security Organizations
According to (ISC)2’s annual Cybersecurity Workforce Study, 70% of survey respondents (global cybersecurity professionals) believe their organization’s security team is understaffed and ineffective. The impact of today’s security workforce talent shortage makes it one of the top cybersecurity trends this year.
The risks associated with the talent shortage include:
- Fewer eyes and hands to manage security alerts and incidents
- Increased security vulnerabilities and insider risk
- An overload of low-risk incidents leave SecOps team with little time for higher value risk reduction activities
The Talent Shortage is Driving Cybersecurity Augmentation
The talent shortage and high levels of insider risk are driving conversation about rethinking the way cybersecurity teams of any size can better protect the organization from the inside out. This global conversation is focusing on how security teams can better defend users, businesses, and systems against threat actors targeting workers by identifying and protecting those most likely to fall victim to an attack with:
- Risk analysis to identify vulnerabilities
- Security policies adjusted to those vulnerabilities to offer targeted, tailored safeguards
- Specific guardrails to protect users from accidental exposure without reducing productivity
We expect the talent shortage to be a driving factor in the restructuring of cybersecurity protocols overall. With fewer cybersecurity professionals, organizations will need to leverage the right technology to support their security initiatives.
3. Heightened Legal Risks will Change Executives’ Working Relationship with the Security Team
It’s no secret that security incidents can (and often do) lead to legal repercussions in the form of judgments, fines, and potential jail time. And with cybersecurity regulations growing omnipresent in each and every security decision, we expect cybersecurity leadership to have a greater stance in board-level discussions to ensure security is a top priority throughout the organization. Similarly, we predict that executive business leadership will foster closer collaboration with security leaders, adding board-level insights and a focus to support security initiatives.
Even Chris Williamson, Field CTO at the MSP, FNTS, believes this collaboration is one of the year’s top cybersecurity trends. He was quoted stating this year “will likely see an even finer alignment between cybersecurity executives and their business leadership and boards.” Why? Too often C-Suite executives find out about security incidents after they happen, rather than being part of the conversation about strategically preventing them. And what’s worse than finding out your organization has been subjected to a cyberattack? Finding out your security team could have prevented it with the right tools.
A closer working relationship between security teams and executive leadership will result in:
- Greater buy-in for cybersecurity tools and precautions
- A continual conversation around risks (internal and external) present in the business and how to mitigate them
- The improvement of security decision making from the boardroom to the workplace
4. Hybrid Work is Permanent, Cybersecurity will Need to Shift Priorities to Accommodate It
We’ve all become accustomed to working from home in our pajamas. There’s no doubt about it, working remotely, whether full-time or in a hybrid work environment, is a permanent situation. And as one of the top cybersecurity trends, security teams need to get used to it and figure out how to keep cyber defense strong despite:
- Varying user locations
- The increase in insider risk
- The new system vulnerabilities threat actors can exploit
So what will cybersecurity leaders do in 2023 to combat this? They’ll work with Identity & Access Management professionals to integrate user risk into the authentication and authorization process, ensuring the full spectrum of each individual’s risk will be considered when making access decisions:
- Did they recently download malware? Initiate a command-and-control outbound channel? Click on a phishing link?
- Have they been targeted with attacks recently? Are they under attack right now?
- What’s the risk associated with their role? Are they an employee or contractor?
- If their account was compromised, what is their blast radius?
To accommodate hybrid and remote work, cybersecurity teams need to add user risk to the ID and authentication process. We expect security leaders to invest in user risk-based technology to gain a complete picture of the risk of each attempted login, enabling nuanced, dynamic and specific security decisions.
Staying up to date with cybersecurity trends is a requirement for an effective and strong cyber defense. While in this blog, we’ve covered four top cybersecurity trends for 2023, there is still plenty more to discuss. That’s why we released part two of this series—check it out here. If you have any questions about strengthening your cyber defense this year, get in touch with us. We’re happy to help.