In the last couple of years, companies have started to pay more attention to cybersecurity.
Allocated budgets have increased, and that is reflected in the overall cyber market. By 2030, the market is expected to reach around 538 billion U.S. dollars.
The way cyber risks are perceived has taken a new shape as well. Namely, companies have taken a more active interest in ways they could protect their infrastructure.
Nowadays, security is seen as a threat to companies that require attention from all workers within it. For example, businesses have allocated more time and funds to awareness training for employees.
The way we work has also changed to the point of no return. By adopting new technology to adjust to remote work, businesses have more assets to guard against cyber exploitation.
To ensure that the organization is safe from intruders, complex architectures have been built that consist of multiple versatile tools. More tools often result in a clash of compatibility and are difficult to manage, leading to cybersecurity slip-ups.
Criminals also took note of the shift to the cloud. The number of attacks has increased, but cybercrime also isn’t exclusive to advanced hackers as it’s becoming more accessible with Crime as a Service.
Eight years from now, the future of cybersecurity is going to be reshaped even further. So, where is it headed?
Some clues can be found in the technological advancements and recent shifts in the field.
Passwords: A Thing of the Past
One of the major vulnerabilities for businesses is passwords.
This security measure has been used for decades (since the 60s) but also enables threat actors to get into the heart of otherwise well-guarded organizations.
Namely, leaked passwords or weak credentials can create a path into an organization — especially in the case of poor practices such as the reuse of passwords for multiple accounts or not charging them on a regular basis.
For most users, passwords are frustrating, and they tend to repeat the same one for at least five different accounts.
Alternatives to relying on humans to craft unique passwords include: biometric authentication (iris or facial scan, fingerprints, etc.), multifactor authentication, and personal identification numbers.
In cybersecurity, automation has already been widely applied both by criminals that have been using automated threats and by companies that rely on AI-based tools for protection.
The use of automated tools by criminals has been increasing the number of exploits.
Artificial intelligence has also helped companies to automate the detection, mitigation, scanning, and testing of security.
Automation is especially important in light of the shortage of cybersecurity professionals. They have been leaving the industry due to increased levels of stress, lack of opportunities for progress, and unfavorable company culture.
However, more automation in cybersecurity doesn’t mean that the jobs in this field are going to become obsolete. Instead, they will free up their schedules and make time for more complex tasks such as protection against advanced cyber threats.
For instance, even automating certain features in a way that makes sense for the context of the company requires qualified cyber experts.
Crime Sold as a Service
The danger of Crime as a Service is that anyone can purchase or rent a means of attack and use it with little to no technical knowledge.
Within this emerging illegal economy, more advanced criminals design these tools to sell or lend such services to less tech-savvy threat actors.
For example, ransomware as a service has been on the rise in recent years. According to Statista, 70% of companies have reported that they experienced a ransomware attack in 2022.
Purchasing this type of malware has enabled anyone to target their victims with malware that locks files and sends them a ransom note.
With more advanced versions of ransomware, threat actors can not only lock the company out of their own files and even their entire network but also download their sensitive data and leak or sell it on the dark web.
The future of cybersecurity will be in tune with the rising number of attacks that are coming from Crime as a Service. Companies might have to add specialized tools that can detect and mitigate specific attacks, such as ransomware, to the protective arsenal.
Unified Tools and Services
One of the major struggles that security analysts have to deal with is a multitude of versatile security software and protocols.
All of them have to be managed, and even similar types of cloud technology require different configurations — which means that mistakes are bound to happen.
Some companies have already been addressing the issue of too many disconnected tools as well as overwhelming data that has been generated and displayed on multiple different dashboards.
Both attack surfaces and security architecture are becoming more complex than ever before.
To facilitate the work for IT teams that manage security and enable a complete overview of the state of security in real-time, companies are going to prioritize solutions that unify these tools and also combine the data that is now scattered in silos.
Stepping Into a More Secure Future
The future of cybersecurity is shaped by minor changes and major disruptions (e.g. the COVID-19 pandemic) as well as fast-paced technological advancements.
It’s difficult to see the exact direction in which cybersecurity is heading in with absolute certainty.
But one thing is constant — technology and circumstances are constantly changing, and the protection of the assets has to keep up with it.
The cybersecurity field is rapidly evolving to provide companies with all the tools and protocols that they need to secure what they’ve been building for years.
What’s more, businesses are also becoming acutely aware of how robust and layered security is essential, but also that it has to be managed by the right security experts.
As the security industry gets more attention, we’re headed toward a safer future.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.