Attack surface expansion, digital supply chain risk and identity threat detection are among the prevailing trends in the area of security and risk management that should be addressed by enterprises this year, according to Gartner, a global tech research and consulting firm.
"Organisations globally are facing sophisticated ransomware, attacks on the digital supply chain and deeply embedded vulnerabilities," said Peter Firstbrook, research vice-president at Gartner.
The pandemic has accelerated hybrid work and the shift to cloud, challenging chief information security officers (CISOs) to secure an increasingly distributed enterprise while dealing with a shortage of skilled security staff, he said.
There are seven trends that security risk management needs to heed to cope with the new emerging threats, said Mr Firstbrook.
The first concerns enterprise attack surfaces that are expanding. Risks related to the use of cyber-physical systems and Internet of Things, open-source code, cloud applications, complex digital supply chains and social media have now brought organisations' exposed surfaces outside controllable assets.
He said digital risk protection services, external attack surface management technologies and cyber-asset attack surface management will support CISOs in visualising internal and external business systems, automating the discovery of security coverage gaps.
The second trend involves digital supply chain risk as cybercriminals have found that attacks on the digital supply chain can provide a high return on investment.
As vulnerabilities spread through supply chains, more threats are expected to emerge, said Mr Firstbrook.
By 2025, Gartner predicts 45% of organisations worldwide will have experienced attacks on their software supply chain, a three-fold rise from 2021, he said.
The third trend involves identity threat detection and response where sophisticated threat actors are targeting identity and access management (IAM) infrastructure, while credential misuse is a primary attack vector, said Mr Firstbrook.
"Organisations have spent considerable effort improving IAM capabilities, but much of it has been focused on technology to improve user authentication, which actually increases the attack surface for a foundational part of the cybersecurity infrastructure," he said.
The fourth trend is distributing decisions. The scope, scale and complexity of digital business now makes it necessary to distribute cybersecurity decisions, responsibility and accountability across an organisation's units.
The fifth trend involves a need to invest in holistic security behaviour and culture programmes, rather than outdated compliance-centric security awareness campaigns, as a way to guard against the problem of data breaches.
The sixth trend is security technology convergence because enterprises will need to reduce complexity, minimise administrative overhead and increase their effectiveness, said Mr Firstbrook.
Gartner predicts by 2024, some 30% of enterprises will adopt cloud-delivered secure web gateway, cloud access security broker, zero-trust network access and branch office firewall-as-a-service capabilities from the same vendor.
The last trend involves cybersecurity mesh. He said the security product consolidation trend is driving integration of security architecture components.
A cybersecurity mesh architect helps provide a common, integrated security structure and posture to secure all assets.