The Present and Future of Cybersecurity for Digitally Transforming Organisations

The world has witnessed two pandemics in the span of 18 months – a health pandemic and a cyber one. While the conditions of one are slowly getting better, the other seems to be getting exponentially worse. As organisations accelerate their digital transformation to adapt to the demands of the current business environment, they’ve been opening themselves up to more vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit. 

Cyber attacks these days are no joke, as no one is safe in the path of terror from these newly evolved and sophisticated cybercriminals. No longer just focused on large multinational companies, cyber attackers have stooped low enough to target SMEs as well. The question floating in your brain at this point is probably “What’s changed?” The inherently capitalist nature of our society has created a market for the buying and selling of cybercrime tools and services. It is no longer hard for individuals with malintent to access commodities pertaining to things such as ransomware, phishing, and other cyber threats. You can even employ the cybercrime equivalent to a gun for hire! As a very lucrative and somewhat low-risk occupation, one could see why criminals have also turned digital.

To make things worse, cybercriminals aren’t the only problem that those organisations have to deal with in terms of security as talent shortages and government regulations plague the mind of every business leader. In their efforts to keep data safe, regulatory bodies worldwide have released changing rules that companies must adhere to. Although in the context of Malaysia, those regulations aren’t as tightly outlined in the PDPA 2010, the nation has been working towards creating a country that understands the importance of cybersecurity as outlined in the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint. 

In order to protect themselves from the inevitable wave of cyberattacks that will surely come knocking at their door, organisations are scrambling to find security solutions that can protect them from losing millions of dollars and customer trust. It would seem like the landscape shifts, older siloed security tools are slowly failing modern organisations as the castle-and-moat approach has become obsolete in the increasingly connected world.

Alternatively, cybersecurity experts have been pushing the zero-trust security approach. If organisations were to face an attack, the use of zero-trust principles could inevitably save them from significant repercussions as it would hinder the attacker’s movement. Now many cybersecurity companies have variations of zero-trust principles, but Microsoft presents seven specific strategies:

  • Use identities to control access.
  • Elevate authentication.
  • Incorporate password-less authentication.
  • Segment your corporate network.
  • Secure your devices.
  • Segment your applications.
  • Define roles and access controls.

Zero-Trust strategies are no longer an option, but a prerequisite for organisational security as cyber threats can appear from all avenues. 

The future of the cybersecurity landscape is an unpredictable one. As organisations inescapably continue to digitally transform and shift to the cloud, trends show so too will cybercriminals. Delving further into the age of digitalisation, the need for security will encourage the integration of software developers into the frontlines of cybersecurity and industry collaboration. At the same time, the weaponisation of AI is inevitable as the technology continues to develop.

Interesting right? Suppose you’re worried about how present and past security trends may threaten your organisation or want to learn more regarding the application of zero-trust security principles. In that case, you should sign up for Microsoft’s Security Summit 2021 where speakers will address security challenges and ways of overcoming them among other pressing cybersecurity issues.

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