2023 Predictions from the Endpoint Security Experts
Ashley Leonard, CEO of Syxsense, provides his thoughts on the world of cybersecurity and what to expect in 2023. He touches on diverse areas such as Zero Trust, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud-based attack vectors, autonomous endpoints, and the vital need for orchestration and automation in security.
Zero Trust Comes of Age
Zero Trust has been a huge buzzword in 2022. However, the actual application of Zero Trust technology within corporate infrastructure has been limited. According to Dell’s Global Data Protection Index, only 12% of large organizations have implemented a Zero Trust architecture, though 91% say they are either aware of or are planning to deploy it soon.
My prediction for 2023, therefore, is that we will finally see Zero Trust concepts implemented broadly within corporate IT environments. Accordingly, we have added a new Syxsense Zero Trust module within Syxsense Enterprise that enables endpoint compliance with Zero Trust Network Access policies (ZTNA). It serves as an organization’s “Trust Evaluation Engine” for endpoints, offering and control over network access policies, and enables security teams to build sophisticated access policies and remediation workflows to ensure ZTNA compliance.
AI Brings Both Good and Evil
Another technology that has been talked up for years yet has somewhat limited implementations is AI. My prediction for 2023 is that we will see an AI arms race, with both the good and the bad guys utilizing AI far more heavily.
The good guys will harness it in many way: for real-time threat monitoring; to add more even power and speed to patch and vulnerability scanning; and to coordinate logs and data sources across the enterprise in real time to spot the patterns that indicate a Distributed Denial of Service (DDos) attack, a phishing outbreak, compromised accounts, ransomware, or data breaches. AI will take security systems to a higher level of pace, sophistication, and capability. And it is coming just in time.
Why? The bad guys are harnessing AI, too. They are using it to find ripe ransomware targets, to figure out the best attack vectors that will bring the biggest payout, and to assess the potential worth of targets automatically. For example, it is well known that Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) scored 8 and above are given high priority for patching and remediation in many businesses. AI is being used to figure out combinations of low and high priority CVEs to find the easiest way into a business. By beginning with a 6 or 7-rated CVE, cyber gangs known that some of these patches might not be deployed in many organizations. From there, they can enter and then exploit more serious vulnerabilities. The morale is clear: Patch all your system religiously and perform regular vulnerability scans.
Cloud Attacks Multiply
As many IT departments have moved critical business functions to the cloud such as those for email, accounting, and customer relationship management (CRM), this has resulted in the cloud becoming a bigger attack target. My prediction is that we will see a major increase in cloud security breaches in the coming year.
Data from Microsoft shows Azure deployments rising at a rate of 33% a year. Cybercriminals know this, and they have realized that enterprises often have a blind spot when it comes to cloud security. Some businesses think the cloud provider is responsible for the protection of their data when it is actually their own responsibility. The cloud provider is only responsible for the integrity of its own cloud infrastructure. Hence, cloud breaches are common and they are going to become even more frequent until cloud data security is prioritized.
In recent years, there has been tremendous focus on the cloud as a way to centralize compute and storage resources. This has certainly been a great leap forward. But think about it for a moment. Businesses possess incredibly powerful processors inside storage equipment, servers, and desktops. These systems are underutilized in many cases. A prediction for 2023 is that many of the tasks managed today by the cloud could be better performed at the endpoint – and we will begin to see some functions decentralized onto endpoints to take advantage of this untapped compute potential.
More Orchestration and Automation
IT departments can expect to be stretched to the limit in 2023 as inflation and a global recession put additional pressure on IT budgets. Hiring freezes are likely in some quarters. IT will be told yet again to do a lot more with fewer people. The only way to survive in such a climate is to add more orchestration and automation capabilities. Expect, therefore, that orchestration and automation technologies we be more heavily used in the coming year to enable IT to maintain security and service.
Syxsense offers automated patch management, vulnerability scanning, mobile device management, remediation, and IT management in one integrated suite. This enables IT to orchestrate a great many functions from one console, eliminating manual labors that can easily consume many hours.