A lot can happen in the space of a single year. As technology evolves to open up new innovations and possibilities for businesses, they also give way to new challenges and considerations.
So, what are some of the biggest challenges, and opportunities, businesses face in the year ahead of us? We spoke to some of our experts to get their thoughts:
Large-scale layoffs will lead to a security breach
The list of corporations that have announced widespread layoffs keeps growing. The over-optimism of investors and the unpredictability of the market have combined to make long-term planning difficult.
Layoffs come with a “reputational risk” as over 90% of jobseekers consider a company’s reputation important. With tech professionals in demand, and positions left open, business security risk becomes significant, in turn adding to an already impacted reputational risk.
In the Thales 2022 Data Threat Report 78% of respondents ranked accidental or human error in their top four threats posing the greatest security risks. With so many people losing their jobs, it’s almost certain that serious security holes will begin to appear. We could even go as far to predict that in 2023, there will be a major security breach that can be traced back to inefficient management of redundancies.
Data sovereignty hits the road
The concept of “data sovereignty” refers to both the legality of data collection and storage in accordance with local laws. Data is always in motion due to the global nature of most businesses, whose customers and partners may be situated anywhere in the world. Cloud providers are neutral in terms of data creation, storage, and processing, but the location of data has far-reaching consequences.
In 2023 people will require full access to and management of their personal data and digital identities – we can expect to see businesses spend more resources locating and classifying their data. As different applications have varying needs for cloud access, performance, security, and regulatory compliance, it is important to shift from a cloud-first to a cloud-smart strategy. To avoid being locked into a single cloud service provider, stay in compliance with data regulations, and maintain flexibility, it’s a good idea to work with a cloud-agnostic software vendor.
Connected cars will be the next big target for hackers
The connected car market continues to grow and will become a bigger target for ransomware hackers and developers.
Connected cars operate on millions of computer codes which, if not secured properly, could easily be hacked. Installing malware into the operating system of a vehicle could cause severe consequences – whether it’s disabling brakes on a busy road, locking users out until a ransom is paid, or stealing personal or corporate data.
Additional attention must also be paid to electric vehicles. With Biden championing the electric car revolution, and the European Commission targeting all new cars and vans to be zero-emission by 2035, technology is advancing at pace. This speed of development – needed to reach important environmental targets – could create additional security risks. With EV charging the system becomes distributed between several players creating additional breaches in the ecosystem. This in turn, increases the risk of being hacked.
The number of electric vehicles on the roads is increasing month on month – if hacker’s succeed in blocking all the charging networks, the situation very quickly becomes critical. Security by design is essential and it’s imperative that car manufacturers bake in robust cyber security standards from the outset to avoid scenarios like this from occurring. But it doesn’t stop at automotive – the European Cyber Resilience Act is pushing all digital actors and IoT players to upgrade their cybersecurity protection level to ensure more secure hardware and software products.
Organizations need to secure the disparate workforce for the long-term
Covid-19 lockdowns changed the way we worked, and many organisations had to very quickly enable technology to allow their workforce to operate remotely – often for the first time. Since restrictions lifted, a mix of office and remote working has become the norm. Employee expectation, coupled with the ongoing energy crisis, means that this is unlikely to change and is now a long-term trend.
As such, businesses need to ensure that they are looking at the right technology. Those that rely on bringing people into the physical office to secure their environment are approaching it incorrectly and are not setting themselves up for long-term security. The workforce is becoming increasingly disparate, and in 2023 employees shouldn’t need to jump through hoops to work in a secure way.
The increasingly disparate workforce will require situational awareness training
With the old security perimeters disappearing, new pit holes in an organisation’s security, that they largely have no control over, have opened. Whether it’s an employee having company confidential conversations on a train, or people watching their screen while they work from a public place, the opportunities for data leakage have drastically increased.
There’s no escaping that the workforce will become increasingly disparate and as such requires a new set of training and standards preparing them for new ways of working. Cyber security training should already be the norm for all workers – but now that the secure boundaries of an office environment no longer exist, this needs to extend to situational awareness training.
2022 was not short of challenges and opportunities for businesses – and this year is set to be no different.
We’re keen to hear from our wider community about any trends or predictions that you have for the year ahead. Let us know in the comments or reach out to us on social media!