As external factors and security-specific threats converge to influence the overall security and risk landscape, there are seven security and risk management trends that risk professionals should recognize to improve resilience and support business goals, according to research giant Gartner.
These trends are expected to impact security, privacy and risk leaders in the longer term. These include:
1. Risk appetite statements are becoming linked to business outcomes
As IT strategies become more closely aligned with business goals, the ability for security and risk management (SRM) leaders to effectively present security matters to key business decision makers gains importance.
“To avoid exclusively focusing on issues related to IT-decision making, create simple, practical and pragmatic risk appetite statements that are linked to business goals and relevant to board-level decisions,” Gartner research vice president Peter Firstbrook said. “This leaves no room for business leaders to be confused as to why security leaders were even present at strategic meetings.”
2: Security operations centers are being implemented with a focus on threat detection and response
The shift in security investments from threat prevention to threat detection requires an investment in security operations centers (SOCs) as the complexity and frequency of security alerts grow. Gartner expects 50% of all SOCs will transform into modern SOCs with integrated incident response, threat intelligence and threat-hunting capabilities by 2022. This is up from less than 10% in 2015.
“The need for SRM leaders to build or outsource a SOC that integrates threat intelligence, consolidates security alerts and automates response cannot be overstated,” Firstbrook said.
3: Data security governance frameworks will prioritize data security investments
Data security is a complex issue that cannot be solved without a strong understanding of the data itself, the context in which the data is created and used, and how it is subject to regulation. Rather than acquiring data protection products and trying to adapt them to suit the business need, leading organizations are starting to address data security through a data security governance framework (DSGF).
“DSGF provides a data-centric blueprint that identifies and classifies data assets and defines data security policies. This then is used to select technologies to minimize risk,” Firstbrook explained.
“The key in addressing data security is to start from the business risk it addresses, rather than from acquiring technology first, as too many companies do.”
4. Password-less authentication is achieving market traction
Password-less authentication, such as Touch ID on smartphones, is starting to achieve real market traction. The technology is being increasingly deployed in enterprise applications for consumers and employees, as there is ample supply and demand for it.
“In an effort to combat hackers who target passwords to access cloud-based applications, password-less methods that associate users to their devices offer increased security and usability, which is a rare win/win for security,” Firstbrook noted.
5: Security product vendors are increasingly offering premium skills and training services
Gartner expects the number of unfilled cybersecurity roles to grow from one million in 2018 to 1.5 million by the end of 2020. While advancements in artificial intelligence and automation certainly reduce the need for humans to analyze standard security alerts, sensitive and complex alerts require the human eye.
“We are starting to see vendors offer solutions that are a fusion of products and operational services to accelerate product adoption. Services range from full management to partial support aimed at improving administrators’ skill levels and reducing the daily workload,” Firstbrook said.
6: Investments being made in cloud security competencies as a mainstream computing platform
The shift to the cloud means stretching security teams thin, as talent may be unavailable and organizations are often simply not prepared for it. Gartner estimates that the majority of cloud security failures will be the fault of customers through 2023.
“Public cloud is a secure and viable option for many organizations, but keeping it secure is a shared responsibility,” Firstbrook said. “Organizations must invest in security skills and governance tools that build the necessary knowledge base to keep up with the rapid pace of cloud development and innovation.”
7: Increasing presence of Gartner’s carta in traditional security markets
Gartner claims its continuous adaptive risk and trust assessment (CARTA) is a strategy for dealing with the ambiguity of digital business trust assessments.
“Even though it’s a multiyear journey, the idea behind CARTA is a strategic approach to security that balances security friction with transaction risk. A key component to CARTA is to continuously assess risk and trust even after access is extended,” Firstbrook added. “Email and network security are two examples of security domains that are moving toward a CARTA approach as solutions increasingly focus on detecting anomalies even after users and devices are authenticated.”