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Deep Instinct 2023 Predictions: Five Major Anticipated Industry Evolutions

vmblog-predictions-2023 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2023.  Read them in this 15th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

The 2023 Cybersecurity Crystal Ball: Five Major Anticipated Industry Evolutions

By Matthew Fulmer, Manager of Cyber Intelligence Engineering, Deep Instinct

With the cybersecurity industry constantly evolving at a moment's notice, it's nearly impossible to predict what the future holds. However, now that 2023 is right around the corner, it's possible to observe recent trends and make educated guesses at what's to be expected in the coming year. Whether these changes - for better or worse - involve the cyber skills gap, use of protestware in the Russia/Ukraine cyber war, Metaverse security, ransomware-as-a-service, or even cyber legislation, the community is going to be on our toes for the foreseeable future. As a part of Deep Instinct, the first company to apply end-to-end deep learning to cybersecurity, here's five of the top trends our team is watching:

Blame It on the Skills Gap

Although the industry acknowledges that the cybersecurity skills gap continues to be a major challenge, it's not something that the community has made meaningful strides in solving and its persistence is something that'll continue to be a plague moving forward. Earlier this year our annual Voice of the SecOps report found that 45% of cybersecurity professionals admitted to considering quitting the industry on at least one or two occasions. In response, companies are using the skills gap as an excuse to justify why they can't retain their top talent. Instead, we need to start enhancing how we train and educate employees. That way the industry won't fall into a vicious cycle of: highly talented individuals leaving companies that exploit them, then, in turn, these exploiters eventually want the talented individual back because they can't backfill their old position with other candidates who aren't as qualified and can't live up to expectations.

Also, it doesn't help that speed at which our industry changes can be very intimidating and is another barrier to entry. In turn, many job requirements are out of touch with reality and have unrealistic expectations that eliminate qualified candidates. For example, asking for 10 years of experience for a topic that's not even 10 years-old. There's even a Mt. Kilimanjaro learning curve to transition from Information Technology (IT) to the cyber team, let alone starting from scratch. Therefore, we need to focus more on constant learning and development rather than relying on one or two rock stars that can do everything. By conducting ongoing training, it'll also help companies mitigate risk when their top talent is inevitably poached. Ultimately, companies need to make a shift to form a team who can collectively do it all, which will benefit all parties in the long run.

Russia/Ukraine Cyber War Breeds More Protestware

Not surprisingly, the cyber war between Russia and Ukraine is going to continue to escalate. However, the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) used in these attacks are unlikely to change, rather they'll just grow in frequency. One prime example of this trend is the increase of protestware, such as the node-ipc wiper, a popular NPM package. Defined as self-sabotaging one's software and weaponizing it with malware capabilities in an effort to harm all or some of its users, the sheer amount of protestware has already seen a huge surge during this cyber war and it'll only continue to grow.

Deep Learning Meets the Metaverse

The sky's the limit when it comes to the benefits of deep learning. Deep Instinct and our many customers have witnessed them firsthand for years and the applications can be extended even further than they currently are. It could essentially be applied to anything that requires large amounts of data and decision making with high levels of accuracy. One such example that's anticipated to explode in coming years is the Metaverse. Given the massive amounts of personal and valuable data involved, security will be a paramount concern and deep learning technology will be an extraordinary tool that can be used to help mitigate any security issues along the way.

Jumping on the RaaS Bandwagon

Even though ransomware has become an extremely lucrative business in recent years, ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) has reached its final form. It initially started as an annoyance, and now after years of successful evolution, these gangs operate with more efficiency than many Fortune 500 companies even though they're supposed to be the bad guys. They're leaner, meaner, more agile, and we're going to see even more jump on this bandwagon even if they're not as advanced as their partners-in-crime.

Cyber Legislation Devil's Advocate

Although cyber legislation can be extremely helpful in most cases, there's often a significant number of requirements that have to be met for it to be successful. Sometimes it might end up being "talking the talk" versus "walking the walk" because of the vast number of hoops companies and individuals have to jump through during the process. Plus, what happens to companies that can't comply? New legislation means change for a lot of small organizations that may not have the budget to radically alter how they operate. Also, it can take years for some legislation to be implemented and then for companies to adhere to it. GDPR is a prime example. Having a final destination or goal in mind is nice, but when writing the legislation in the first place, we need to ensure that the authors behind it actually understand the journey and how technology/cybersecurity works for it to be useful. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

In summary, it's no surprise that the cybersecurity community has encountered such upheaval over the last 12 months and this will only continue as we move into the new year. However, by making these educated guesses and what's likely to get both better and worse, hopefully organizations and business leaders alike will be better prepared to handle any achievements or challenges that they encounter along the journey.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matthew-Fulmer 

Matthew Fulmer has been working in the tech industry for over 20 years and within the realm of cybersecurity for at least 10 years. Mostly self-taught, he enjoys detonating new threats to see what they are capable of (or how they can be prevented) and attempting to bypass security to learn more about how bad actors use our technology against us.

Published Tuesday, December 06, 2022 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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