Cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly vital part of any businesses planning.

Not only is it vital as the proliferation of data requiring organisations to have better management and security in place, there is also the growing threat of cyber attacks, as firms have become high-profile targets for hackers in recent years.

Added to this is the role that AI and machine learning will play moving forward, as these technologies now offer an opportunity for companies to take a more predictive approach to the cybersecurity elements of their environment.

This explains Dimension Data’s group executive for cybersecurity, Matthew Gyde, is one of the major influences for their recent trend predictions for 2019. Gyde and the team from Dimension Data have highlighted five trends in particular for the upcoming year.

The digital trust security model

For last year’s trends Dimension Data said that most organisations would adopt a zero trust security policy in which no one would be trusted. That model is going to shift in 2019, according to the firm, with a digital trust model now the go-to method.

This model is defined by the ability for IT departments within organisations to create digital fingerprints of their users, says Gyde.

“They established a comprehensive behavioural profile for each user, which includes information such as the devices they use and their location, granting a user access to applications and systems, provided they remain consistent with their profile,” he adds.

The adoption of the digital trust model will also lead to better threat detection in the exec’s view.

“Digital trust involves the deployment of different tools such as deception technologies and robo-hunters,” explains Gyde.

“An organisation’s repository of digital identities represents a gold mine of opportunity for cybercriminals – so the security surrounding that repository needs to be rigorous,” he continues.

Cloud-based security platforms

2019 is the year that cloud-based security providers will begin to come to fore says Dimension Data.

The reason for why they’ll grow in popularity next year is the same as for why cloud computing has, with its ability to be flexible, scalable and platform-delivered too enticing to ignore.

“Because they’re built with open APIs, security teams can integrate technologies into the platform with relative ease and switch certain security services on or off, depending on their needs,” notes the exec.

These factors will also become increasingly significant as the tech industry moves into the hybrid cloud era. Added to this is the fact that cloud-based security platforms open up the capacity for greater automation.

Secure by design

In years past the approach to security was always an afterthought, or “bolted on” attitude as Gyde terms it. This is going to fundamentally change in 2019, as organisations look to be secure by design he says.

“With business leaders now confident digital is here to stay, they’re also recognising they must be secure by design; being cybersecurity-conscious at every point in their digital transformation journey,” continues Gyde.

This change of approach now means that cybersecurity is becoming an increasing important aspect of the design process when companies build or create digital solutions.

“DevOps and security operations teams are beginning to work more closely – as a DevSecOps team – creating the tools that enable secure digital transformation,” he adds.

Driven by intelligence

When tackling cybersecurity, response is everything notes Gyde. Therefore the ability to respond in a more intelligent manner will greatly serve organisations moving forward, and in particular become a significant consideration in 2019.

To deliver this kind of responsive intelligence, organisations will begin to turn to machine learning says Gyde. He also stresses that the same machine learning processes are being employed by cybercriminals, which means an organisations ability to respond quickly and accurately once an attack occurs will be even more important.

“Organisations can’t afford to make one mistake, whereas cybercriminals only need to get it right once. Intelligence is becoming the new arms race between adversaries,” Gyde notes.

Tighter regulations

Compliance continues to be an important pillar for security in the digital landscape, and that won’t change in 2019.

In fact it will likely intensify according to Gyde, who says data regulations and policies being implemented in different regions of the world will cause organisations to consider them more seriously than before.

“We expect to see governance and compliance playing an increasingly important role in how organisations manage their risk profile in 2019. If, for example, they’re deploying a new application or technology, they’ll be more critical in their decision-making process. They’ll need to carefully consider what additional risk it might add and how it will affect their risk posture,” the Dimension Data exec explains.

“A chief information security officer (CISO) has a doubly difficult job – balancing IT operations with concerns about regulatory compliance,” he concludes.

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