With just one month until we ring in the new year, it’s a wise time to consider what experts are seeing coming down the pike in IT security. Such foresight may impact leaders’ organizational strategy and IT budget plans, so check out these 5 predictions to inform your approach to 2022.

Prediction 1: Distribution Wins Big

Among many pandemic impacts, we know well by now the huge shift toward a hybrid workforce is likely here to stay. As a result, organizations worldwide are adopting a distributed enterprise model across 2021 and 2022, where employees and customers alike are dispersed geographically… and the shift is going to pay off sooner than later.

According to Groombridge, Harvey, Downes, and Bhat of Gartner’s Digital Workplace Infrastructure and Operations initiative, by 2023, 75% of organizations utilizing a distributed service delivery model will reap 25% faster revenue growth than their industry competitors. In addition to reaching consumers previously out of range, by enabling the work environment for on- and off-site engagement, organizations will put themselves on the path most likely to attract and retain talent, as well as maximize employee engagement and productivity, creating more efficiencies that benefit the bottom line.

Prediction 2:  Simplification Increases Security

According to the “2022 Global Digital Trust Insights” report by PwC, more than two-thirds of companies will increase their cyber budget in 2022, a portion of which will go towards simplification of infrastructure and consolidation of vendors, both of which expand naturally with organizational growth.

Why? Because, as the report explains, eliminating complexity wherever possible decreases the attack surface area, both improving security overall while lowering associated costs. One to start on such a simplification journey can include, according to the report, scanning infrastructure for non-complementary tech, inefficient internal collaboration around key issues, like third-party risk, and communication misses regarding security methods and related tech.

Prediction 3: Privacy Is On The Move

Given Willemsen, Thielemann, Woo, and Henein’s prediction that most organizations will face modern privacy and data protection regulatory requirements in coming years, they urge organizations to make the move now to intentionally go beyond compliance (something we talk a LOT about at BAI Security and practice in all our assessment and compliance services) and towards best practices in privacy. Among their recommendations, they suggest incorporating privacy (UX) in customer-facing contacts and truly engaging them on the topic beyond the bare minimum legal requirement.

Further, the authors advise recording System Requirements Review (SRR) metrics to spot inefficiencies, rationalize automation, and measure improvement. There are also approaching deadlines in 2021 for compliance, says Kristen Mathews of Morrison Foerster, that are likely to push organizations towards implementation, including the California Privacy Rights Act, Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act, and Colorado Privacy Act. 

Prediction 4: Hybrid Cloud Storage Expands

The International Data Corporation (IDC) reported in 2020 that 55% of enterprise storage customers used a hybrid cloud environment, meaning a mix of public and private clouds. For 2022, the IDC reports the number of global enterprises using the hybrid cloud will rise to 90%.

Varonis’ Matt Lock recommends the following to successfully utilize a hybrid cloud: First, remove any past data that is outdated and has not been touched in a long time; next, set up rules that decide when any future outdated data may be removed to reduce risks and cost of storage; then, build an inventory that is fully accurate, looking closely for “dark data” that may have found its way in during migration; finally, set up classification for all data, including data owners when it comes to the most sensitive information. For more cloud tips, check out our blog Into the Cloud: Migrating to the New Frontier.

Prediction 5: Cybercriminals Pay

Finally, perhaps something to sit back and just watch play out. With a 600% increase in cybercrime during the pandemic, ransomware and data breaches frequently hit the headlines, sending chills down the spines of organizational leaders worldwide.

Brandon Van Grack and Alex Iftimie of Morrison Foerster predict the U.S. Department of Justice will be aggressive in the coming year, pursuing charges and arrests of ransomware actors and sanctioning those that facilitate ransomware currency exchanges. They also anticipate growing international cooperation to catch and stop ransomware groups, thereby decreasing the cybercrime escalation of the past year-plus.

Now THAT would be something to see in 2022!

Ring In A Secure New Year

To ensure your organization stays secure in 2022 and beyond, turn to the IT security and compliance experts who specialize in highly regulated industries. The array of services that BAI Security offers allow you to consolidate vendors, capture meaningful trend data, and save with significant discounts.

For more information, proposals and pricing, or to schedule your next IT Security Assessment or Compliance Audit, contact us today!