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Six Tips for Security Leaders Looking to ‘Elevate their Standing’

By Filip Truta on Jul 06, 2018 | 0 Comments

Research giant Gartner is out with a report documenting six emerging trends that IT security leaders should keep on their radar in 2018 and beyond. The findings could easily serve as pro tips for security leaders looking to gain a foothold in their organization’s decision-making process.

Unlike many such releases from Gartner, the June 3 article posted on the group’s news room isn’t aimed at promoting a bigger piece of research (i.e a whitepaper). Rather, it’s a succinct aggregation of findings from recent years, and touches on the latest cybersecurity threats and developments.

One of the most noteworthy trends analysts observed is that senior business executives – recognizing the growing influence of cybersecurity on business goals – are now actively discussing this matter during board meetings. Before, the topic often didn’t even make it into the room.

Gartner believes major incidents like the Equifax data breach and WannaCry are key drivers behind this paradigm shift.

“Prominent examples include an Equifax data breach that cost the CEO, CIO and CSO their jobs; a WannaCry attack that caused worldwide damage estimated at between $1.5 to $4.0 billion, and Verizon's recent $350 million discount on its purchase of Yahoo! as a result of the latter's data breach,” the report reads.

"Business leaders and senior stakeholders at last appreciate security as much more than just tactical, technical stuff done by overly serious, unsmiling types in the company basement," says Peter Firstbrook, research vice president at Gartner. "Security organizations must capitalize on this trend by working closer with business leadership and clearly linking security issues with business initiatives that could be affected."

Other findings include:

  • Legal and regulatory mandates on data protection practices (i.e. the EU General Data Protection Regulation) are impacting digital business plans and demand increased emphasis on data liabilities
  • Security products are rapidly exploiting cloud delivery to provide more-agile solutions
  • Machine Learning has become a vital tool in highlighting suspicious events for human analysts (i.e. Endpoint Detection & Response), providing value in simple, yet key tasks for the IT department.
  • Security buying decisions are increasingly based on geopolitical factors (i.e. recent government bans against Russian and Chinese firms)
  • Dangerous concentrations of digital power are driving decentralization efforts at different levels in the ecosystem (“…if the risks of centralization could seriously threaten organizational goals, explore an alternative, decentralized architecture,” Firstbrook said).

Looking forward, Gartner recommends business leaders stay “conscious” of the impact cybersecurity can have on the business outcomes of their organizations, stressing that “security leaders should harness this increased support and take advantage of […] emerging trends, to improve their organization’s resilience while elevating their own standing.”

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Author: Filip Truta

Filip is an experienced writer with over a decade of practice in the technology realm. He has covered a wide range of topics in such industries as software, hardware, cyber-security and gaming, and has worked in various B2B and B2C marketing roles.