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Top IT trends to watch in 2016: cybersecurity

Matt Gyde, Dimension Data’s Group Executive – Security Business Unit | Jan. 12, 2016
The complexity of the new digital environment is informing some radical new approaches when it comes to security in 2016. Matt Gyde of Dimension Data tells us more.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

In 2015, several high-profile security breaches kept the topic of cybersecurity in the headlines -- and the next 12 months doesn't look any different. As organisations look to change their business models to adapt to the digital economy, they're also looking to change their security posture to defend against cybercriminals. In an increasingly connected world - of social media, mobility, and cloud - the need for greater intelligence and insight will give businesses a stronger and smarter security stance. However, the complexity of the new digital environment is informing some radical new approaches when it comes to security in 2016.

Trend 1: Security steps up to meet the digital age
The chief information security officer (CISO) faces a new headache: digital complexity. The digital world has changed how organisations communicate with the world out there. The rapid increase in how we use technology to communicate has led to more data and more points of entry or breach. Because of the rapid pace, security hasn't adapted fast enough.

We saw this in the explosion of hacks in 2015. CISOs will now have to have a hard look at new policies and processes to address this as an urgent item on the security agenda in 2016. Information security, like any other discipline, has to be re-evaluated and re-aligned as part of digital transformation.

Social media plays a fundamental part in this journey. People aren't holding back on social media - they're sharing more than ever before. Sadly, cybersecurity policies haven't accounted for this. In the new year, these will have to gain alignment fairly rapidly as organisations strive for a greater depth of security. For example, a disturbing new trend is 'whaling' - where hackers target senior executives with ransomware, demanding money or using their information fraudulently. The challenge is to protect an individual and not just their cyber presence.

We also predict that forensics will be even more important in the coming year. As people use different types of technologies in the digital enterprise, these technologies will all be increasingly subject to exploitation. As the stakes get higher, businesses will need to continuously scan the Dark Web as cybercriminals become more bold and deliberate.

The reality is that no enterprise, no matter its size, can avoid security incidents anymore. Instead, the enterprise must be able to anticipate them, and have the capability to identify and respond to these threats, often in real-time. Many of our clients are seeing the value in outsourcing information security activities to third parties as part of their efforts to mitigate risk and bolster their defences.


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