As our year winds to a close, many of the uncertainties that shaped 2021 remain. The cybersecurity challenges that accompanied the pandemic have persisted, as hybrid remote workspaces have become a way of life. And through it all, the threat landscape continues to evolve, as innovations in cloud computing and other areas open up new threats — some in unexpected areas.
To take stock of where we’re at and what lies on the horizon, we’ve once again gathered our team of cybersecurity experts, including Jeremy Rowley, Avesta Hojjati, Mike Nelson, Jason Sabin, Dean Coclin, Stephen Davidson, Tim Hollebeek and Brian Trzupek. Let’s take a closer look at what they observed in the crystal ball for 2022.
The fallout from audacious attacks like the SolarWinds episode and the Colonial Pipeline breach was all over the headlines in 2021. The successful attacks shined a spotlight on three critical cybersecurity battlegrounds — and likely emboldened hackers. Some threats that are likely to thrive in the coming year include:
Companies in every industry have been embracing digital transformation for years, and the trend is accelerating. Research shows that the global digital transformation market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24% from 2021 to 2028. As complex technology becomes a deeper part of every organization’s most critical processes, we predict that the use of digital signatures will increase — and will require a stronger level of trust and identity.
Long a leader in deploying electronic signatures, Europe is updating its eIDAS Regulation, learning the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic to enable high-quality remote validation of signers’ identity byQualified Trust Service Providers. In addition, new proposals will dramatically expand the use of government-issued eID to facilitate cross-border interactions. These changes are part of an ongoing trend to restore control of identity to citizens, rather than private companies.
Last year’s predictions included a variety of security threats that were directly tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic slowly recedes, we predict that those threats will continue to remain. We are seeing increasing use of contactless technologies in airports, retail environments, restaurants and other public spaces — all of which are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Digital ID schemes such as drivers’ licenses and healthcare records are becoming more widely used — and also remain possible points that can be hacked.
A DigiCert survey found that 71% of IT decision-makers believe quantum computers will be able to break existing cryptographic algorithms by 2025. That means security organizations will need to rethink security for a post-quantum world. Post-quantum cryptography (PQC) can strengthen cryptography, decreasing the possibility of security breaches. But many companies lack a clear understanding of the crypto they deploy, so they will want to take proactive steps to locate all the exposed servers and devices and rapidly update them when a fresh vulnerability comes to light.
We predict some major developments in the PQC world in 2022, as NIST is expected to announce the winner of their effort to replace current versions of RSA and ECC encryption algorithms.
As organizations work to keep the lights on and scrutinize the bottom line, there will be a resulting push for efficiency in security technologies. Security teams will be asked to do more with even fewer resources. 2022 will bring an emphasis on technologies that allow organizations to do more with less, and automation will play a significant role in terms of security innovation in the new year. A recent DigiCert survey showed that 91% of enterprises are at least discussing automating the management of PKI certificates. AI and ML technologies will continue to play an essential role in powering this automation.
In an increasingly multi-cloud world, traditional perimeter-based security approaches have become obsolete. We predict that cybersecurity challenges will become even more demanding as cloud services become more granular. Organizations are deploying cloud solutions that are increasingly subject to local jurisdiction and regulations. Cloud sovereignty controls are focused on protecting sensitive, private data, and ensuring that data stays under owners’ control.
For example, T-Systems and Google Cloud recently announced that they will build and deliver sovereign cloud services for enterprises, public sector and healthcare organizations in Germany. As more of these sovereign cloud initiatives emerge, we predict organizations will require an increasing awareness of regional security requirements.
It’s not easy to stand out in a busy marketing environment, but new technologies are emerging that can help marketers make a lasting impression. According to a study by Wpromote, 31% of B2B marketers were making brand awareness their top priority for 2020. We predict that organizations will increasingly adopt Verified Mark Certificates (VMCs) to build their brand equity and strengthen trust.
Part of a cooperative initiative with the Brand Indicator Message Identification (BIMI) initiative, VMCs certify the authenticity to display a logo to email recipients right in their inbox, before a message is opened. They are enforced by Domain-Based Message Authentication Reporting (DMARC) security.
By using VMCs secured by DMARC, marketers not only reinforce their branding and improve open rates by up to 10%, they also show customers that they care about their privacy and IT security, and are taking proactive steps to help minimize risk.
Finally, we anticipate organizations working harder to strengthen a culture of cybersecurity, led from the top. We’re hearing more about employee education using phishing tests, mandatory online training and cyber simulation exercises taking place at the board level, to help C-level participants test their communication strategies and decision-making in the event of a major cybersecurity crisis. It’s clear that cyber attackers will continue to innovate and create more complex insidious threats. Mitigating tomorrow’s threats will require a commitment from leadership and good communication across every organization.