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Clear Skye 2021 Predictions: Six Key Security Predictions

 vmblog 2021 prediction series 

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

Six Security Predictions for 2021

By Jackson Shaw, Clear Skye Chief Strategy Officer

Understanding industry trends is important for any IT professional, but it's especially critical for anyone working in security. Teams need to be able to stay a step ahead of a wide range of security threats - all while ensuring that the new tools employees need to stay connected and productive under challenging circumstances don't put individuals, or the enterprise, at risk.

At Clear Skye, our leadership team has decades of experience in security as well as governance, compliance, and access management. We've been watching the industry evolve for quite some time, and we're constantly learning about the emerging and ongoing security trends that will matter most to our customers and to enterprises across the world.

Here are Clear Skye's six key security predictions for 2021 - and why they will matter.

1.      Apple Continues Its Mobile Security Differentiation

Apple continues to pioneer privacy and security. One example is randomizing MAC and BLE addresses, which makes it harder for a device to be tracked when joining different Wi-Fi or Bluetooth networks. Another example is presenting indicators that show when a microphone or camera is being used. A third example is highlighting passwords that users may not realize are compromised. This year, we expect to see continued benefits from Apple's membership in the FIDO Alliance, such as further elimination of passwords - to the point that mobile privacy and security become a differentiator for this market maker in 2021.

2.      Heightened Emphasis on Endpoint Security

As work-at-home continues into 2021, end users need to be aware of and watch for attacks vectored through the cable company equipment that provides remote access to corporate systems. These home-based, all-in-one firewalls and routers are infrequently upgraded or patched, and they are far inferior to business-class products. We expect "zero trust" vendors to continue to benefit as both a stopgap cybersecurity software for home workers and a VPN replacement. At a minimum, enterprises will need to beef up security training and education for all employees, particularly those who traditionally have not logged in from home.

3.      Adoption of a Common Service Data Model

Siloed security information continues to threaten response times to cybersecurity incidents, leaving corporate systems vulnerable to ongoing attacks. The industry will become increasingly aware of the benefits of a common service data model, which will lead to better integration of security silos at the platform level. In 2021, the use of distributed security sensors in conjunction with a common data model will decrease response times, helping enterprises mitigate the impact of threats and limit the disruption to everyday business operations.

4.      B2C Verification Comes to the Enterprise

Commercial business-to-consumer identity verification will begin to bleed into business-to-employee transactions. Employees will begin to be verified with information from their life history - such as previous home addresses, banking relationships, or loyalty program memberships - when they are considered high-risk for completing a transaction such as obtaining a privileged password. This type of verification will make it harder for hackers to create, or potentially take over, the valuable privileged accounts.

5.      Proactive Removal of Access for Current and Former Employees

As government benefits run out for individuals and businesses around the world impacted by COVID-19, unfortunately we expect more layoffs. For some individuals who are now out of a job, desperation may set in - and security teams must prepare for the worst. A disgruntled employee in a work-from-home environment, unsupervised by managers and unencumbered by IT staff, may be tempted to sell corporate information, intellectual property, trade secrets, and passwords and/or PII on the dark web. Corporations need to be aware of this potential risk and promptly take action to remove individual access ahead of time.

6.      Increased Automation of Business Processes

The adoption of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence will accelerate, enabling virtual assistants and robotic process automation (RPA) to further streamline business processes and increase productivity. This will affect enterprises in two key ways. AI-enabled algorithms will also allow access to applications and data to be analyzed faster, which will enable governance teams to complete more reviews in less time. Employees requesting access will allow AI bots to complete their profile lookup, compare their profile to their peers, and if everything appears legitimate will gain access without the need for additional approvals. On the other hand, this new age of automation will require new approaches to ensure security, governance, and privacy are being controlled.

While 2021 may be an unpredictable year in many ways, we believe these six trends will drive the work of security professionals and their teams. And after a successful 2020 at Clear Skye, we also believe we are well positioned to help enterprises that rely on ServiceNow to meet today's threats and address tomorrow needs. Learn more by visiting


About the Author

Jackson Shaw 

Shaw is a seasoned Product Management Executive with over 30 years experience in product management solutions, marketing, sales, and operations in the technology sector.  He has extensive experience in all aspects of executive leadership, including strategic development, global team leadership, and substantial sales growth.  Shaw continually exceeds expectations by creating valuable partnerships and works well with people at all levels of an organization, including stakeholders, executive management, team members, and clients.

Published Friday, January 29, 2021 7:34 AM by David Marshall
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