Predictions for the Future of the Security Space
By Billy Spears, Chief Information Security Officer, Alteryx
2020 has been a year unlike any other, with unforeseen challenges creating hurdles for businesses in every sector of the economy. As companies look for ways to insulate themselves from future shocks while preparing for the year ahead, insider insights can help companies to understand how societal and economic trends have and will impact their industries and what to expect in 2021. Below, I share a few predictions that will help leaders stay ahead of the curve and tackle anything that 2021 throws at them.
First, I believe that in 2021, zero-trust security will become the new normal. The work-from-anywhere concept has created an interesting opportunity for CISOs to consider strategic approaches for managing non-traditional security risks. To accommodate this shift, we’ll see corporate security departments expanding the perimeter into associates’ homes to ensure that cyber risks are not unknowingly introduced into the corporate network. 2021 will see CISOs working with HR, further pushing to increase each associate’s cyber awareness to proactively recognize and report related risks, meaning that “zero-trust security” will be the new standard methodology for supporting associates working remotely. CISOs must adopt this model as it improves secure access to corporate resources through continuous assessment and intent-based authentication policies. Furthermore, Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections must become a default setting to increase protections for associates requiring remote access.
Additionally, citizen data scientists will play a bigger role in preventing cyber attacks in 2021. As workers everywhere become more comfortable working with data, the ability of a business to deliver value in data processing and analysis increases exponentially. Their ever-expanding skillset increases value by delivering actionable insights from terabytes of otherwise impenetrable data to help the company forecast, mitigate risk and fraud, deliver relevant products to their customers and improve cybersecurity defensiveness. Effective cybersecurity threat hunting has always been built around the constant pursuit, near capture and repeated escapes of adversaries attempting to infiltrate a corporate network. Using a powerful analytics platform that enables machine learning capabilities is crucial to detect and address cybersecurity threats more rapidly by providing security departments with the ability to examine large volumes of data to uncover trends, identify patterns and deliver actionable intelligence.
With the further democratization of data, 2021 will see citizen data scientists more and more playing a key role in helping security teams enhance and simplify their cyber defense technologies by precisely detecting future attacks, proactively identifying security blind spots across the network and protecting valuable company information.
About the Author
Billy Spears, Chief Information Security Alteryx. He is responsible for overseeing enterprise cybersecurity and associated risk management practices. With a strong focus in both internal and external security, Billy ensures that Alteryx associates, customers, partners and vendors are thoroughly protected via state-of-the-art policies, processes and technologies. His passion for architecting and implementing strategic solutions that build trust, enable resilience, and incorporate core principles are driving transformation and simplifying processes across the organization.
Billy brings more than 20 years of experience leading and building teams in the information and security space across both the corporate world and the federal government. His strong background in information and security across different industries and verticals is critical in enforcing best practices within all areas of the business. Billy’s informed guidance and strategic approach to risk management and security efforts is instrumental in improving protections as Alteryx and the larger self-service analytics market continues to grow and expand across the globe.
Prior to joining Alteryx, Billy served as executive vice president and chief information security officer at loanDepot, a market leader and online mortgage lender for consumers. While in this role, Billy helped create the first security enabled digital home loan experience for consumers – a game-changing advancement in the mortgage business. Billy has held similar positions at companies like Hyundai Capital America, General Electric and Dell, as well as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He is also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Billy is an adjunct cybersecurity professor for Webster University and a member of the company advisory board for Cymatic, a web application defense platform. Billy holds a bachelor’s degree in information technology from National University and received his MBA from University of Phoenix.