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ColorTokens 2021 Predictions: 5 Cybersecurity Predictions for 2021

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

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

5 Cybersecurity Predictions for 2021

By Rajesh Khazanchi, Co-Founder and EVP at ColorTokens

Transformation happens fast in today's world of information security. Sometimes history is an indicator of how things will change, and sometimes a once-in-a-generation pandemic comes along and shows us a future we could never have predicted. With 2020 behind us, the threats it spawned have opened a new cybersecurity landscape. So, what might we predict that 2021 will bring? 

#1. No Speed Limit on Cloud Migration

There's no doubt that in 2020, while companies scrambled with lockdowns taking place worldwide, many realized that they don't have business resilience built into their IT operations. As companies quickly came to terms with their on-premise deployments lacking resilience, the already rapidly increasing cloud adoption rate was compounded and will continue into 2021. 

Companies that didn't have a significant digital channel were also greatly impacted as they struggled to adapt in 2020. For this reason, many companies will be focused on the rapid growth of their digital channel, which will further drive the acceleration of moving to the cloud in 2021. 

#2. Zero Trust to Hit Mainstream

The traditional castle-and-moat approach of creating a security perimeter has repeatedly shown to be ineffective against sophisticated attacks. Its assumption that users, endpoints, applications, workloads, and traffic within a network can be inherently trusted is flawed. This incorrect assumption allows for any threats within the network to move laterally and remain undetected. And, with remote work being the new norm, the attack surface for cyberthreats has expanded exponentially. 

This has paved the way for the mainstream embrace of Zero Trust architecture in 2021. With a Zero Trust approach, every user, application, workload, and network flow is assumed untrusted. This micro-level approach ensures that access requests are monitored and verified at every point within a network, shrinking the attack surface to a bare minimum. 

Cloud-delivered solutions like the ColorTokens Xtended ZeroTrustTM Platform are making Zero Trust a reality for any enterprise, including SMBs, which will not be spared in the years ahead. As enterprises seek to stay ahead of evolving cyberthreats, such Zero Trust projects and their mainstream embrace will take off in 2021.

#3. Granular Access Appeals

As the new normal sets in, providing granular user access controls are taking center stage as a 2021 security initiative. The world has moved to work from everywhere, and workforces spread across the globe demand access to critical data and applications. A fine-grained, dynamic framework is needed to effectively control access of remote employees, contractors, suppliers, and vendors to resources and data. 

Businesses that solely address the static factor of user trust, (i.e., passwords or biometrics), one of The 4 Trust Dimensions, will be a prime target for cyberattacks in the new year. In 2021, expect to see enterprises investing in solutions that address multiple trust dimensions of user access and enforce fine-grained policies based on context.

#4. Cloud Citizenship

A shift to cloud-native applications has been driven by innovation, scalability, and efficiency. The way today's applications are being built is significantly shifting into the microservices and container world. We can expect a big move from virtualized applications to cloud-native applications in 2021. As this wave of cloud citizenship rides into the new year, powerful, cloud-based policy engines, like what we've built at ColorTokens, will be needed to automatically extend security controls to new cloud-native applications to eliminate exposure and secure them from internal and external threats. 

#5. Unification Uptake

Buying multiple point solutions has complicated security postures and IT operations, and most enterprises are recognizing they need to make a security shift. With a unified platform, businesses can break free from point solutions performing siloed functions, and can instead address their networks, applications, users, and devices using a single integrated solution and unified view. This growing pace of organizations turning to a single, unified security platform over traditional point solutions will continue into 2021 and beyond.


About the Author

Rajesh Khazanchi, Co-Founder and EVP at ColorTokens

Rajesh Khazanchi 

Rajesh Khazanchi is a cybersecurity pioneer who's been on the front lines of the battle against cyberattacks for nearly three decades. As a security entrepreneur and executive, Rajesh is motivated by the ideal that no one - not businesses, not families, not individuals -  should be forced to feel the pain of a cyberattack. That's what fuels his work at ColorTokens, where he oversees global product, sales, marketing, and GTM functions. Prior to ColorTokens, Rajesh led product development teams at HP, Oracle, and VMware. He has been awarded six patents for his innovations in cloud automation and cybersecurity.

Published Thursday, January 21, 2021 7:29 AM by David Marshall
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