4 problems IT and security professionals should know

As the cybersecurity landscape is set to undergo multiple changes throughout 2022, much of what will happen over the next 12 months will be based on a series of decisions and security incidents that have unfolded. produced in 2021.

In May, as part of a response to the 2020 disclosure that state actors had targeted SolarWinds and clients of the company’s Orion network monitoring platform, President Joe Biden signed a presidential executive order. radical related to cybersecurity. This ordinance will fundamentally change the way the federal government approaches security, as well as the way departments assess and purchase software and other technology from third-party vendors.

In addition to SolarWinds, a series of high-profile ransomware attacks have prompted Congress to consider several bills aimed at strengthening the rules on how and when organizations must report these attacks. At the same time, lawmakers have pushed to implement stricter protections for the privacy of citizens’ data, both at the state and federal levels.

Throughout all of this, the persistent COVID-19 pandemic has remained, with variants (first Delta and now Omicron) continuing to concern employers – and ensuring that remote and hybrid working is likely to remain a staple until 2022. This also means that the Security and IT challenges of the past 24 months will continue into the new year.

“Then 2021 – and reality – set in: the Delta variant spread, blockages reappeared and employees flirted with returning to the office… Cybersecurity issues are growing for the new year. “Relationships, collaboration and trust will dominate in 2022, and gaps in these areas will have disproportionate impacts on companies’ relationships with their colleagues, partners and suppliers. “

With this evolving security landscape, the next 12 months are expected to bring additional changes to organizations’ cybersecurity practices, especially as better technologies and more modern practices become the norm. Here are four trends IT and security professionals should watch out for as 2022 approaches.

Zero Trust matures

Several security analysts believe 2022 will be the year when more organizations will apply zero trust principles to their security plans to bolster the principles of least privilege and defense in depth. This, in turn, can limit the number of breaches and reduce the lateral movement of attackers if they manage to bypass the initial security tools.

Biden’s executive order is also pushing federal agencies to adopt a zero-trust architecture to counter ransomware and attacks from nation-state groups seeking to spy on or steal data.

“Organizations are looking for ways to reduce the risk of cyber attacks and accept that security needs to become a living system within the enterprise rather than the legacy old static approach,” said Joseph Carson, chief security scientist recently. and CISO advisory from security firm ThycoticCentrify. Of. “In 2022, zero trust can help organizations establish a baseline for security checks that need to be repeated and force cybercriminals to take more risks. This results in cybercriminals making more noise, which ultimately gives cyber defenders a chance to detect attackers at an early stage and prevent catastrophic attacks. “

Osterman’s research and security firm Symmetry Systems recently conducted a survey of 125 IT and security professionals in which 50 percent said ransomware was an important factor in investing in trust. zero in 2022. reason to apply the principles of zero trust.

“Focusing on zero trust for data will be critical in tackling large-scale ransomware incidents and security issues resulting from hybrid or completely remote workforce,” said Martijn Loderus, vice-president, to Dice. President of Engineering and Solution Delivery at Symmetry. “Over the coming year, we can anticipate that organizations will seek cybersecurity measures that strengthen their defenses against future threats. The recent escalation in ransomware attacks and data breaches has forced business leaders to expect the involvement in a breach to be high. “

Another reason 2022 is likely to be a big year for adopting zero trust is the increasing amount of Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices added to networks, increasing the attack surface and offering attackers multiple entry points into an organization’s infrastructure, said Bud Broomhead. , CEO of security company Viakoo.

“Zero trust will grow alongside the automation of security processes for IoT security, as organizations take larger steps to secure this traditionally overlooked attack surface,” Broomhead told Dice. “Zero trust needs to extend to IoT devices, because that’s where the cyber threats are; it requires the ability to deploy and manage certificates on devices that were not designed with certificates or zero trust in mind.

Fight for talent

The Great Resignation has arrived for the field of cybersecurity. The continued availability of remote work in many organizations allows talented cybersecurity professionals to work from anywhere and explore different avenues for their talent. This has made it difficult for many companies to attract skilled workers, said John Hellickson, executive cyber advisor for consulting firm Coalfire.

“This industry-wide ability to work from anywhere has created an opportunity for employees to work for new companies that they should have relocated to previously, while achieving larger pay increases than the last. medium. Many organizations have seen higher-than-normal attrition before, often providing limited counter-offers that may not even match the departing employee’s offer on hand, ”Hellickson told Dice.

“This will favor companies with larger operational budgets that are located in cities that have unmet demand for top cybersecurity talent,” Hellickson added. “Conversely, this will most certainly make it difficult for small organizations that operate on limited budgets and can only offer mediocre merit increases that do not keep up with inflation, likely creating an increase in cybersecurity services.” outsourced. “

Forrester’s analysis also noted that this cybersecurity “brain drain” is likely to continue, with stress and long hours forcing many to leave the field. “Our 2021 data shows that 51% of cybersecurity professionals experienced extreme stress or burnout, with 65% saying they considered leaving their jobs because of stress at work, combined with low financial incentives. and limited promotion and development opportunities, ”the report notes. “To avoid this, CISOs need to reduce team burnout, create development opportunities and maintain a good culture. “

Better create secure software

Spurred on by Biden’s decree, some security experts expect to see a greater push to incorporate security best practices into the new code.

While this ‘left shift’ practice has been around for several years, the way adversaries have taken greater advantage of software flaws is likely to force developers to embrace more secure ways of developing code in 2022, with security taking a toll. greater role in DevOps. process, said Michael Isbitski, technical evangelist at Salt Security, who added that API development (for example) requires a better security approach.

“By 2022, more and more organizations will realize that the only way to truly secure APIs against increasingly complex and advanced cyber attacks is to adopt holistic processes and a focus on the full lifecycle,” said Isbitsky told Dice. “This mindset requires moving away from the desire to test all code with analysis tools that already struggle to provide adequate code coverage and leave business logic unanswered. The shift in mindset requires practitioners to consider an organization’s unique business logic in application source code, as well as misconfigurations or poor implementations of infrastructure that lead to vulnerabilities and abuse. API.

Cyber-insurance: now essential

Analysts are also predicting a boom in the cyber insurance industry over the next year, especially as organizations seek to push some of the risk onto third-party vendors as a result of SolarWinds and other attacks that have profited from the poor supply chain security. . This means that the service level agreements will contain language that relates specifically to certain cybersecurity practices.

“Before signing new suppliers and renewing existing suppliers, organizations will require policies built into their contracts that the partner assumes the risk of an intruder moving from the partner’s environment to the organization’s environment.” , noted Forrester analysts. “Smaller policies reduce the exposure of cyber insurers, while reducing the risk for the insured of working with new and existing providers with different cybersecurity postures. “

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