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Lynx Software 2021 Predictions: Is 2021 the Year of Mission Critical Systems

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

Is 2021 the Year of Mission Critical Systems

By Ian Ferguson, Lynx Software Technologies

In the coming year, we expect a renewed focus on security, as much of the global workforce continues to work from anywhere but the office, autonomous automobiles become closer to mainstream and global tensions put a spotlight on maintaining national control of mission-critical systems. Here five trends to keep an eye on in 2021:

The next cyber-attack on autonomous vehicle will be avoided with investment into secure software

In 2021, cyber-attacks on the automotive industry will pick up speed and we will see our first successful attack on an autonomous vehicle. The future of mobility is all digital, and thus, all vulnerable. While 2020 saw a number of attacks on the manufacturers, which saw companies like Honda and Tesla experience attacks on personal data, attacks are becoming more complex and vicious with research showing that it can take up to 25 seconds for people to regain control of the vehicle if hit with a cyberattack. If they're traveling at any real speed, it is likely to be fatal. Attacks on data centers and, irreparably, human life can ultimately cost the automotive industry upwards of $23 billion by 2023. While the industry has seen many researchers acting in a "white hat" way, 2021 will be the year manufacturers will take action and invest in a software platform that adapts to evolving hardware with security by design. Although the cybersecurity act signed in early December by Donald Trump is focused on connected "IoT" platforms procured by Federal agencies, we expect to see a wider set of industries start to adopt these recommendations as best practices.

American-made mission critical systems will go mainstream

Given rising tensions between the U.S. and China and accelerated acquisitions in Semiconductors in 2020, we will see important chip announcements for the avionics and defense markets in 2021 similarly to the Tesla chip announced in 2019 to control supply chain and embed differentiated intellectual property. Earlier this year, DARPA announced its Automation Implementation of Secure Silicon (AISS) program. We will see more strategic programs like this as well as other tangible progress associated with the Chips For America Act appearing In 2021. We hope to see an increased investment in mission-critical, military-grade systems that are made in America, keep people safe and protect our national interests.

Enterprise focus will be on zero-day threat detection and mitigation

In 2021, as organizations continue to work remotely and a full return to offices looks unlikely (indeed some companies are indicating they will never return to the office), they will be at an increased risk of cybercriminals exploiting their workers and hacking their systems. We can wave goodbye to perimeter-based security. There will be an increase in demand for security solutions, particularly from companies in highly-regulated industries, to secure end-points such as laptops, edge servers, networking cards and other equipment in a zero-trust environment, without significant performance degradation or higher costs. CIOs and CISOs will prioritize spend on software to focus and strategize on zero-day threat detection (an average of 80% of successful breaches) and mitigation.

Digital transformation and the edge will drive technology investments

In 2020, digital transformation efforts accelerated as leaders understood it will be the difference between companies succeeding and disappearing. In the year ahead, digital transformation will play an especially critical role in ensuring agility, cobots (collaborative robots) being a good example of how manufacturers will focus on being better equipped to respond to changing situations. To slightly modify a Star Wars film title, 2021 could be titled The Enterprise Strikes Back!. Reasons like reducing reliance on network availability, processing latency, cost and privacy reasons will see a significant amount of processing shift to the edge, specifically mission-critical, as that is how we will address cobots getting closer for real-time implementation of complex decisions in co-working environments. Industries will advance and secure their manufacturing by making these technology investments in cobots as they can not only ensure humans are working at a distance from one another, but also manufacture goods in an efficient manner.

Investments into security and privacy solutions will take us one step closer to a cashless society

In 2021, we will see additional commitment into the investment of cashless solutions. While 2020 saw major companies making headway into offering cashless / mobile payment solutions,=-we aren't close to a complete cashless society. Pew Research shows that in a typical week, less than a third (29 percent) of Americans use cashless solutions to make a purchase. While a bump from three years prior, what's stopping more? A number of things, but it will often be the fear of hacks and privacy erosion. We see financial institutions and governments investing into security protections that can stop potential brute force hacks and prevent zero-day attacks in 2021. One of the impacts of COVID was the decreased use of cash ... and, largely, people adapted to this. We expect this, combined with leadership being shown by other countries shifting entirely to digital currency, to galvanize America around this objective.

Many industries seem to be at a crossroads as we enter 2021; we're excited to see how we collectively address the many safety and security challenges listed above - and ones we've yet to experience.


About the Author

Ian Ferguson 

Ian Ferguson joined Lynx Software Technologies as Vice President Marketing and Strategic Alliances in December 2019. Previously, Ferguson spent over ten years at Arm, where his positions included VP, Ecosystem Development, IoT Services Group; VP of Worldwide Marketing and Strategic Alliances and VP of Segment Marketing. After Arm, Ferguson spent time consulting for companies focused on Machine Learning for Speech Recognition, Retail/warehouse logistics using robots and drones and IIoT software for smart cities.

Published Monday, December 28, 2020 7:02 AM by David Marshall
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