By Matthew Gyde, CEO, Security, NTT Ltd.

The Dawn of a New Era

As 2020 dawns, we stand at the threshold of a new decade that’s certain to reveal challenges to the security landscape we could scarcely have imagined in 2010. But if the past has taught this industry anything, it’s that a forward-thinking and progressive approach is the best way to mitigate the risk of threats and intrusion.

In this brave new era before us, our industry must adapt to how security is acquired. While cloud-based security, machine learning and the move from zero trusts to digital trust were trending topics last year, we’ve witnessed a fundamental shift in how security is being acquired. Automation and orchestration will be the watchwords for 2020. Things are about to change—and drastically. Security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) will be the hottest area in cybersecurity in the year to come. Accepting and embracing this approach will allow managed security service providers (MSSPs) to build trust equally across both infrastructure and applications.

What are the driving factors behind this shift in strategy? Simply put, the threats and cyberattacks themselves are no longer conducted at human speed. Rather, they’ve evolved to occur at machine speed. And as the old adage goes, you must fight fire with fire. This will be accomplished by embedding security intelligence into both infrastructure and applications.

Predictive Over Proactive

Machines, under the supervision of data scientists, will use the power of algorithms to elevate threat detection capabilities. These algorithms will help machines recognize patterns across applications and infrastructure. They’ll identify anomalies that point to potential attacks and orchestrate security controls automatically—and instantaneously—without a human touch. As machines are fed more data to learn from, they’ll become better at recognizing and identifying threat patterns and anomalies. In turn, they’ll use this learned knowledge and adapt to apply the right controls for each situation. In summary, cybersecurity best practices must evolve from a proactive to a predictive approach.

Security in the Cloud

In the coming decade, as legacy business models and aging infrastructure wanes, we’ll witness a majority of applications and workloads hosted in cloud environments. The threats and hackers are sure to follow suit, targeting this influx into cloud-based ecosystems. For organizations using hosting centers or hyper scalers, one-size-fits-all software-based security control is difficult to apply across the whole infrastructure. To truly mitigate cloud-based threat risks, it will take a separate application of security assigned to the application or workload itself. Companies will then be able to monitor threats precisely where they appear, rather than oversight of the entire infrastructure.

MVP – Most Vulnerable Player

Threats constantly probe for the most vulnerable entry point. And the bad actors have declared a clear winner. Apps remain the most vulnerable gateway, falling prey to hostile attacks now also occurring at the machine, rather than human, speed. According to our latest Global Threat Intelligence Report, application-specific and web-application attacks now account for a third of hostile traffic—making them the single most common targets of hostile activity.

The Next 10 Years

Addressing cybersecurity through the next decade will require a new mindset, advanced levels of monitoring capabilities and a growing reliance on machine-based learning and application. But I do believe that cybersecurity organizations will rise to meet these and other challenges yet unseen, primarily because they’re left with no choice but to improvise, adapt and overcome threats. This level of vigilance is best served by taking an intelligent-based approach to security. Only by implementing an intelligence-based strategy can businesses achieve a predictive, agile and automated security posture, wholly aligned to their individual level of risk tolerance. Let’s hope the next 10 years will be remembered for the achievements, milestones, and solutions put into practice to eradicate the scourge of unseen threats.

About the Author

Matthew Gyde is the CEO, Security Division, of NTT Ltd., a leading global technology services company. Gyde is responsible for executing the security, services, and go-to-market strategies with the goal of building the world’s most recognized security business supported by a team of highly talented professionals.

His career in IT security spans more than 20 years, providing him with a deep understanding of how security platforms should be implemented and managed to ensure clients’ business outcomes are achieved, while simultaneously ensuring their risk is minimized.

Matthew has completed the International Executive Program from INSEAD Business School, Asia, and holds an Advanced Diploma in Business Management from Randwick College, New South Wales, Australia.