Yes, 2021 was the kind of year that we thought we needed another predictions blog (check out the first one if you missed it; Nine Cybersecurity Predictions for 2022). Of course, the start of a new year is often about what’s coming next, but don’t forget to reflect on and be proud of what your organization accomplished in the last year.
Unfortunately, as we noted previously, 2021 was a tough year on cybersecurity. Notably, we saw an increase in the number and sophistication of cyber attacks. And there is also growing awareness – from Wall Street to Main Street – of their impact. Throw in the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s easy to see why people were ready to turn the page on 2021.
To further help your cybersecurity teams to stand with confidence and get a jump-start on planning, we’ve compiled a few more cybersecurity predictions for 2022.
The road ahead has challenges, from juggling the impact of dozens of open cybersecurity vacancies to a rapidly growing and increasingly brazen cyber threat landscape.
Fortunately, developments in key technologies, such as cyber ranges, and more awareness by executives and business professionals of their role in security are helping to turn the tide.
Of course, the “people” issues we covered previously about hiring and retaining staff will continue to be an issue for 2022. Still, the situation is becoming even more acute in the public sector. In fact, the cybersecurity workforce has actually shrunk at many federal agencies, which will make ongoing professional development and programs focused on retaining staff even more valuable.
Over the last two years, the rapid organizational switch to remote and flexible work arrangements has exacerbated cybersecurity professionals' existing challenge: mitigating the risk from the incredible growth in attack surfaces.
In addition to new Internet of Things technology, policies such as bring your device, and the fact that the average employee uses at least two devices, security professionals are challenged with having to balance accessibility to core business systems from anywhere at any time with growing security threats.
As threats evolve and attackers move beyond low-hanging fruit, businesses need to move away from a reactive security stance and toward one that proactively mitigates threats.
Organizations can begin this move by combining advanced training with dialed-in and tested layered defenses, advanced threat detection, and ongoing testing replicating the latest threat tactics, techniques, and procedures. Layered defenses also have to be tested and validated to ensure they are effectively performing as a whole, providing the information needed for security teams to make data-driven mitigation and investment decisions.
As the focus on security and privacy increases across all industries, enhanced organizational cybersecurity can also be seen as a differentiator in the marketplace.
More specifically, businesses that can demonstrate their cybersecurity practices align with government and industry standards and best practices can showcase themselves as safe business partners.
As the direct costs of remediation and the indirect costs of customer trust increasingly impact brands, we see corporate boards and executives continue to get more involved in understanding and mitigating cyber risks.
In fact, according to a Gartner study, cybersecurity was selected as the second-highest source of enterprise risk, behind regulatory and compliance risk, demonstrating just how much cyber-threats can impact a brand’s reputation and bottom line.
Fortunately, as cyber threats have increased, the security tools that organizations can leverage to protect themselves have evolved too.
One of the most versatile and cost-effective is a cyber range, which can be leveraged to address each of the threats identified above. In particular, a cyber range can be used to:
Increase enterprise readiness. Simulations conducted in a cyber range can be customized to fit any industry’s operational or learning environment, perfect for conducting organizational training exercises safely.
Optimize security processes and technology stack. Evaluate, refine, stress, and confirm that your security stack and incident response plans effectively protect your brand and critical assets.
Evaluate potential security tools. Thoroughly test a security tool, evaluate patches, or compare configurations before investing in a new element or sending changes into production.
In addition to offering a wide range of operational and security benefits, organizations can also benefit from the versatility of today’s cyber ranges and the experience of a trusted cyber range provider. Choosing the right partner allows your organization to:
Unfortunately, given the security trends and operational realities of 2021 and the ongoing effects of COVID-19, it is clear that cyber threats will only continue to grow.
However, organizations do not have the luxury to sit idly by without upgrading their cyber hygiene, whether for compliance reasons, contractual requirements, executive expectations, or to build customer trust. Add in continued scrutiny on budgets and a drive to increase return on investment, and it is no wonder why so many organizations are choosing to leverage cyber ranges as a way to maximize each aspect of their security practices.
Is your organization ready to take your cybersecurity to the next level in 2022?
Read The Comprehensive Guide to Cyber Ranges to learn more about the power of a cyber range and how your organization can establish its state-of-the-art deployment.
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