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AT&T Cybersecurity 2020 Predictions: What's in Store for 5G, Cloud and More

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual series exclusive.

By Experts from AT&T Cybersecurity and Alien Labs

What's in Store for 5G, Cloud and More

Over the last year, enterprises have seen their fair share of cybersecurity challenges - from hackers deploying more targeted ransomware attacks to more sophisticated data breaches - and there is no sign of slowing down. It is the dawn of a new decade and enterprises can expect these challenges to continue to evolve with the commercial launch of 5G and the influx of IoT devices on an organization's network. AT&T Cybersecurity experts outlined key things to look out for in the new year:

Bindu Sundaresan, Director, AT&T Cybersecurity


Bindu Sundaresan 

Bindu Sundaresan is a Director at AT&T Cybersecurity, responsible for providing both strategic and tactical cybersecurity consulting services to businesses as well as government agencies covering a wide spectrum of offerings from compliance and risk management to technical services for emerging technologies such as IoT, cloud, and mobility. Her career focus has been on helping customers drive business benefit through the exploitation of technology and driving improvements in organizations while sustaining security, managing compliance and mitigating risk.

Organizations will throw DIY security out the window

IT and security infrastructures are becoming increasingly complex and organizations are looking to automation and orchestration capabilities to detect and respond to them, yet there is a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals who can deploy and manage those technologies. For that reason, in 2020 managed security service providers (MSSPs) will become the first line of defense for organizations. We will see growth in the adoption of managed security services to help control cybersecurity threats.

Theresa Lanowitz, Head of Evangelism, AT&T Cybersecurity


Theresa Lanowitz 

Theresa Lanowitz is a proven global influencer and speaks around the world on trends and emerging technology poised to help today's IT organizations flourish. Prior to joining AT&T Cybersecurity, she founded industry analyst firm voke, to highlight emerging technologies and the benefits of adoption ahead of legacy analyst firms. Theresa was also an industry analyst at Gartner where she spearheaded the application quality ecosystem, championed application security technology, and created the successful Application Development conference. Throughout her career, Theresa has been a trusted advisor to some of the most innovative and influential companies and executives in the world.

Shared responsibility for 5G security will emerge

While 5G networks are designed with security, organizations need to understand the risk this new technology presents from an expanded attack surface due to the proliferation of IoT devices. In order to combat these challenges, a 5G shared responsibility security model will likely emerge in 2020 (similar to the approach with public cloud).

Confusion around Zero Trust will lead to unsuccessful implementations

Zero Trust can't be achieved by implementing another new product; it's an approach for an organization's security architecture where identity is the new perimeter for data control, and intelligence provides the key to defense. Organizations need to have a fundamental understanding of their services, data, users and endpoints to be effective. Zero Trust is an approach that requires constant assessment and adjustment of your organization and its cybersecurity policies.

Tom Hegel, Security Researcher, AT&T Alien Labs


Tom Hegel 

Tom is a security research at AT&T Cybersecurity with over a decade of experience in threat research. He has held various threat intelligence positions with ProtectWise, LogRhythm and InteliSecure.

Ransomware will remain ominipresent, but will become more targeted

Despite ransomware slowing down last year in the prime of cryptocurrency mining, it appears to be making a comeback. Mass infection attempts are still occurring and, in fact, this year we saw manufacturing, critical infrastructure and state and local governments hit with very large demands. Until ransomware stops being profitable for cyber criminals, we expect ransomware attacks will continue to be pervasive in the year(s) ahead, but we'll see more targeted attacks on organizations that are likely to pay the ransom. In 2020, we'll see crimeware-based adversaries targeting corporate and critical infrastructure-based organizations with high ransoms and a better payout success rate. 

Chris Doman, Security Researcher and Threat Engineer, AT&T Alien Labs


Chris Doman 

Chris has had a long interest in security, but joined the industry after winning the civilian section of the Department of Defense's forensics competition. I run a popular threat intelligence portal ( in my spare time, and hold a CCHIA (Certified Host Intrusion Analyst) from CREST and a degree in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge.

Supply chain vulnerabilities on the decline thanks to automation

There are several new automation technologies that automatically detect and fix security vulnerabilities in source code. For example, one-code repository improves the fundamentals around how quickly problems with dependencies are identified. Because of these improvements in the way security patches with open source code are automatically identified and remediated, in 2020, we'll see fewer supply chain issues in code.

Less buzz about buzzwords

With the industry already drowning in marketing buzz about artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), in 2020 we'll begin to see these terms used more selectively - both in security solutions themselves and in marketing materials.

Published Monday, January 13, 2020 7:35 AM by David Marshall
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