The role of CISOs have evolved dramatically over the last few decades, especially in the last few years. As a result, CISOs face ever-increasing responsibilities, such as mapping security strategies to meet new challenges and support key business objectives.
The last two years presenting unprecedented security challenges in decades also prompted CISOs to be more proactive in their efforts in 2022. Digital adoption has rapidly accelerated, and as a result, the threat surface has also expanded. As a result, as 2022 looks up, there will be new and evolving cybersecurity challenges on the horizon for CISOs.
What are the top security concerns for CISOs in 2022
There are seven top security concerns that will define the market in 2022 that CISOs should pay attention to;
Risk of ransomware and cyber-extortion
Ransomware remains a significant challenge for all organizations. Ransomware has become ubiquitous, and as such, a single attack can have a significant impact on a company and every company or customer that relies on that company. Previously, mere hacks involved data being stolen and then exploited or sold, but ransomware and cyber-extortion rely on payment by the victim themselves. So, instead of stealing data and then finding a buyer for that data, a threat actor can sell the data (or mere access to that data) to an already willing buyer — the victim. In addition, the increase in 5G rollout in 2022 will keep CISOs active as this will mean more connections to networks and susceptibility to frequent attacks.
Resilience to cyberattacks
Putting up a strong defense against ransomware and other forms of cyberattacks will be critical for the efficient operation and delivery of services and goods in any business and organization. As a result, CISOs will be called upon to constantly seek solutions to maintain cyber resilience against new and changing threats. What does this mean? Continuous monitoring will become a popular solution.
Cyber security needs to be embedded in key business processes for any organization to survive and flourish in the current threat climate. Continuous security monitoring solutions provide real-time and end-to-end visibility of the attack surface. As a result, CISOs get a birds-eye view of the digital ecosystem, thereby accurately assessing the overall security posture and speeding up remediation processes.
Weighing the risks of hybrid work environments
Transitioning work from the traditional office environment to remote or hybrid environments has exacerbated the challenge of securing systems and organizational data well beyond the traditional centralized model.
The last two years saw many organizations making this transition in hasty ways. There is the argument that the business risk necessitated the speed and operational continuity was more important than adequately securing remote and hybrid workspaces. Unfortunately, for many companies, this new way of doing business has left them even more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
As IT assets continue to be decentralized, so are the people that use these assets to perform work. These people will continue to put themselves at risk. The need for heightened surveillance and security measures is now high. In the meantime, companies are currently relying more and more on their employees to follow good cyber practices while in the remote and hybrid models. What does this mean to CISOs? It places an even greater burden on them, keeping the cyberattacks at bay.
Measuring security posture
As seen over time, one of the greatest challenges the cybersecurity space faces is customers insufficiently measuring progress over time. As a result, CISOs seek out tools that prioritize and allow for the measurement of progress. Systemizing and operationalizing the way to demonstrate the improvements by having dedicated resources such as a security improvement manager to track progress. In 2022, CISO’s should look into investing in solutions that will provide visibility of security issues and map priorities and methods to resolve them.
Build a security culture
Cybersecurity in respect to a business or organization can no longer be the responsibility of the cybersecurity, or IT teams only. Every employee needs to play an active part, which means CISOs will need to enlighten every employee. It is vital that CISOs partner with IT and Engineering teams to build communication as well as training programs for their teams and communications plans for the company.
Growing attack surface
Unfortunately, organizations across nearly every sector still struggle to secure their public applications. Last year, the research found that 92% of web applications tested contained serious or critical security challenges.
This is attributed to the attack surface of many organizations growing rapidly. Therefore, the defense against cyberattacks continuously needs to be multifaceted and increased. CISOs will need to pay more attention to the attack surface of their organizations with the help of modern tools to formulate a sound defense against new attacks.
As we all know, building a common internal controls framework is the first step to achieving continuous compliance. This is especially important in a multi-regulation environment and now in hybrid environments. A compliance framework will allow a CISO to map his controls to multiple frameworks, regulations, or environments all at once, reducing redundant testing. Continuous compliance continues to be a big security concern that CISOs must pay attention to this year.
CISOs are the ultimate protectors of people, assets, infrastructure, and technology in an organization. They understand the role they serve in assessing risk and acting in the best interest of the company to eliminate threats. The last two years have highlighted the need for CISOs and other security leaders to introduce the idea that security and compliance are a journey and not a destination. This year has started on a high, and CISOs must pay attention to the concerns discussed in this article to keep up with their protection roles. “If you think the auditing, monitoring, and migration is complicated, think again.” Aidan Simister, CEO Lepide.
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