According to research firm Gartner, executive performance evaluations will be increasingly linked to ability to manage cyber risk; almost one-third of nations will regulate ransomware response within the next three years; and security platform consolidation will help organisations thrive in hostile environments.
Gartner recommends that cybersecurity leaders build the following strategic planning assumptions into their security strategies for the next two years.
1. Through 2023, government regulations requiring organisations to provide consumer privacy rights will cover 5 billion citizens and more than 70% of global GDP.
As of 2021, almost 3 billion individuals had access to consumer privacy rights across 50 countries, and privacy regulation continues to expand. Gartner recommends that organisations track subject rights request metrics, including cost per request and time to fulfill, to identify inefficiencies and justify accelerated automation.
2. By 2025, 80% of companies will adopt a strategy to unify web, cloud services and private application access from a single vendor’s SSE platform.
With a hybrid workforce and data everywhere accessible by everything, vendors are offering an integrated security service edge (SSE) solution to deliver consistent and simple web, private access and SaaS application security. Single-vendor solutions provide significant operational efficiency and security effectiveness compared with best-of-breed solutions, including tighter integration, fewer consoles to use, and fewer locations where data must be decrypted, inspected and re-encrypted.
3. 60% of organisations will embrace Zero Trust as a starting point for security by 2025. More than half will fail to realise the benefits
The term zero trust is now prevalent in security vendor marketing and in security guidance from governments. As a mindset — replacing implicit trust with identity- and context-based risk appropriate trust — it is extremely powerful. However, as zero trust is both a security principle and an organisational vision, it requires a cultural shift and clear communication that ties it to business outcomes to achieve the benefits.
4. By 2025, 60% of organisations will use cybersecurity risk as a primary determinant in conducting third-party transactions and business engagements.
Cyberattacks related to third parties are increasing. However, Gartner analysts said that only 23% of security and risk leaders monitor third parties in real time for cybersecurity exposure. As a result of consumer concerns and interest from regulators, Gartner expects organisations will start to mandate cybersecurity risk as a significant determinant when conducting business with third parties, ranging from simple monitoring of a critical technology supplier to complex due diligence for mergers and acquisitions.
5. Through 2025, 30% of nation states will pass legislation that regulates ransomware payments, fines and negotiations, up from less than 1% in 2021.
Modern ransomware gangs now steal data as well as encrypt it. The decision to pay the ransom or not is a business-level decision, not a security one. Gartner recommends engaging a professional incident response team as well as law enforcement and any regulatory body before negotiating.
6. By 2025, threat actors will have weaponised operational technology environments successfully to cause human casualties.
Attacks on OT – hardware and software that monitors or controls equipment, assets and processes – have become more common and more disruptive. In operational environments, security and risk management leaders should be more concerned about real world hazards to humans and the environment, rather than information theft, according to Gartner.
7. By 2025, 70% of CEOs will mandate a culture of organisational resilience to survive coinciding threats from cybercrime, severe weather events, civil unrest and political instabilities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the inability of traditional business continuity management planning to support the organisation’s response to a large-scale disruption. With continued disruption likely, Gartner recommends that risk leaders recognise organisational resilience as a strategic imperative and build an organisation-wide resilience strategy that also engages staff, stakeholders, customers and suppliers.
8. By 2026, 50% of C-level executives will have performance requirements related to risk built into their employment contracts
Most boards now regard cybersecurity as a business risk rather than solely a technical IT problem, according to a recent Gartner survey. As a result, Gartner expects to see a shift in formal accountability for the treatment of cyber risks from the security leader to senior business leaders.