A Comprehensive Overview of The Future of Cybersecurity in The Technology Industry

Decreasing global barriers in businesses and services has supercharged internet use and its services. Thanks to the internet boom, businesses across industries can widen their consumer base by providing more innovative opportunities. However, this growth has also opened a haven of opportunities for cybercriminals.

As the world becomes interconnected through the internet, cybercriminals are becoming more strategic in developing special attacks relevant to the data type of security level. So, it is no surprise that every sector is in danger of cyberattacks, with some industries being more vulnerable than others. The technology industry has become a popular target for online criminals because of the rewards a data breach can yield.

A Harvard Business Review report reveals the average cost of data breaches spiked to roughly $4.35 million in 2022 and could reach $5 million in 2023, especially with the increasing use of cloud-based business information technologies. As the threat landscape diversifies and evolves, technology companies must find ways to combat these challenges to streamline compliance, protect critical assets and maintain corporate reputation.

Why are technology businesses targeted?

Tech companies are leading in developing products and services to combat cybersecurity risks. However, they are often the kernel for cyberattacks. This is because they have a more significant risk appetite than their counterparts in other sectors and store valuable information that hackers can steal.

According to The New York Times, roughly three billion Yahoo! Users experienced account breaches, with over 500 million users reporting their accounts being compromised in the attack. The complexity of a tech business's risks relies on its products and services. Some organizations store significant amounts of sensitive information, while others only have minimal customer data.

Regardless, any stored information is vulnerable, and any security incident can lead to a potential stock devaluation, negative press and an overall lack of trust in your company for data storage and services. What makes it worse is that exposures can differ significantly since the technology industry has several business operations and product types.

This can include rogue data injection, IP theft, eavesdropping and access control. With each innovative security layer thwarting bad actors comes another successful way hackers can gain access. Therefore, technology businesses must remain agile in adjusting their cybersecurity approach to address data exposure liabilities and stay abreast of these challenges.

What is the future of cybersecurity for technology businesses?

Competition has driven many tech companies toward their limits. Cybersecurity as a technology is distinct in that it is not only influenced by business competition but by a continuous struggle against cybercriminals seeking to exploit the weakest on the block. As more technology businesses adopt blockchain, undergo digital transformation and depend significantly on data-driven tools, adapting to the current threat landscape is no longer an option but rather an imperative that is as essential to the survival and growth of business as any other significant function.

Staying on top of cybercrime and the increasing complexity of attacks requires continuous investment. As a result, the future of cybersecurity looks set to be a constant battle between those who would protect data and those who would steal it. For tech companies to remain on top of these challenges, they must have an insight into the future of cybersecurity.

Technology companies adopting cybersecurity as a business strategy

More companies are increasing their cybersecurity budgets to prevent the even higher costs of data breaches. Recent data reveals US technology companies are allocating roughly $15.6 billion for cybersecurity for the 2023 fiscal year. With increasing cybersecurity budgets, the race now focuses on how to implement them most efficiently. Technology companies can gain a competitive edge by maximizing cybersecurity value to thrive in a cutthroat industry.

But how do you become more efficient when bad actors improve their hacking techniques every second? One way of doing so is to consider cybersecurity as a component of your business strategy rather than viewing it as a necessary protective measure. As a result, this allows you to concentrate on business objectives and differentiate your system, applications and technologies' security capabilities from those of competitors.

This is especially important nowadays, considering there is a significant push from a compliance-oriented posture to a more data-driven model. By baking your cybersecurity strategy into the company mission and goals, everyone can become more involved in data protection and keep improving data security even when new threats emerge. However, implementing cybersecurity as a business strategy is only the second part of the story. The most critical component is the development of an effective cybersecurity strategy.

An excellent approach to building cybersecurity as your business strategy is to divide issues into smaller and more manageable parts. This allows you to conduct a comprehensive security risk assessment that details possible threats to your operations and your capabilities to manage these risks. Unlike other industries, technology companies face varying threats daily. By performing an in-depth risk assessment, you can understand the gaps and vulnerabilities in your existing policies and procedures.

Moreover, you must also ensure that your cybersecurity strategy is congruent with your most significant business objectives. This means understanding your existing cybersecurity capabilities and risk appetite, assessing your technology against industry best practices and choosing a cybersecurity framework. Doing so ensures you adopt a proactive approach toward cybersecurity, making it easier to identify and fill any gaps that may grow as threats evolve.

AI is the future of cybersecurity

Ransomware is hardly a new threat to technology businesses. But only in the past few years has it become part of the daily vocabulary of cybersecurity specialists. Recent estimates reveal the number of ransomware attacks nearly doubled last year compared to 2020. One of the most significant influences on ransomware trends in the last few years has been the significant shift in the working patterns of technology businesses.

As more tech companies adopt hybrid and remote working environments, hackers can prey on isolated employees by preemptively targeting backup and recovery tools to prevent data recovery practices. Even with security protocols in place, scammers, hackers, and online criminals are becoming more innovative as days go by. This calls for technology businesses to identify and block threats before they cause harm.

They can do so by using artificial intelligence (AI) to supplement human expertise in finding vulnerabilities, determining new types of malicious traffic and thwarting hacking attempts quickly. The advantage of AI is it can help tech companies predict potential online threats by filtering information and making predictions based on what it's programmed to identify. This allows technology businesses to find distinctive signs associated with their applications, websites or networks and strengthen their defenses against potential attacks.

In addition to detection and prediction, technology companies can use AI to combat and stop attacks in real time. For instance, they can identify and eliminate a potential threat without human intervention. AI builds a virtual patch and other protection mechanisms to identify malicious and abnormal activities. Tech companies can reduce errors and focus on more complex issues by automating repetitive tasks and freeing up human resources.

Machine learning (ML) use is another way AI is impacting cybersecurity. ML algorithms can help technology companies analyze essential information and determine patterns indicative of a threat. This allows tech businesses to detect and respond proactively to threats rather than waiting for them to occur. Moreover, tech companies can use ML algorithms to learn from past attacks and become more effective at identifying and avoiding similar threats in the future.

Cloud security

Staying competitive and innovative is no longer an option in the technology industry. It is therefore no surprise that more technology companies are moving to the cloud to access files faster, interpret complex information quickly and save money. Recent data shows roughly 61% of technology businesses use one or two clouds in their organization. While the cloud offers higher availability, advanced threat detection and adequate protection against denial-of-service attacks, technology companies must continuously monitor and update their security measures to protect against data leaks since end-users are still significant sources for phishing attacks, malicious software and erroneous errors.

According to a National Security Agency study, cloud misconfiguration is the most common vulnerability tech organizations face. Misconfigurations can take many forms and sizes, although the most popular are identity and access management and public data storage. To minimize this threat, organizations must enforce the principle of least privilege for all their cloud resources and users. This means not granting complete access to a file if it only needs read access or access to a sub-component of the document.

Lack of visibility is another issue when adopting the cloud. It can be easy to get lost when using thousands of instances of cloud services. This lack of visibility can delay action on a threat and result in a data breach. How can you gain visibility into the state of your entire infrastructure if you have a business to run? An excellent way is to implement security tools that monitor and detect threats, minimize and shorten response time, and ensure cloud infra visibility.

Alternatively, you can establish a comprehensive cloud vulnerability management strategy focusing on flaw identification, risk assessment and vulnerability remediation. Identifying and assessing cloud vulnerabilities allows tech companies to understand the extent of their threat levels and prioritize them accordingly. Based on the threat levels, you can create a viable and healthy cloud security solution that lets you patch and mitigate issues.

Once done, you can conduct a comprehensive vulnerability assessment report to detail the scan, the methods implemented to identify vulnerabilities and the flaws that have been managed or fixed appropriately. While technology companies increasingly look to cloud computing to expand, modernize and stay competitive, businesses also expose themselves to new threats. By establishing a secure cloud environment, technology enterprises can enhance the protection of their digital assets and mitigate the risks associated with human errors.

More technology companies seek help from cybersecurity professionals

Tech is expanding, and so are the number of risks and vulnerabilities. With the number of potential risks increasing, tech companies are left dealing with the gap between user and supplier expectations. While small and medium enterprises can deal with this change effectively, larger companies face the unique problem of building a comprehensive cyber hygiene culture that can ward off potential threats, especially considering the amount of data they process.

One way for them to manage these risks is to seek help from a competent cybersecurity professional to protect themselves from reputational and financial damages incurred by an external or internal hack. Internal cyberattacks happen more frequently than most technology businesses would like to believe.

Without a cybersecurity professional, the organization's chances of suffering from a compelling insider exploit would only increase. A cybersecurity professional will create an insider threat program with appropriate role and responsibility classification to empower your organization to identify high-risk profiles and threats. Doing so enables your organization to become more resilient to emerging and present risks and stay compliant.

A significant issue in the technology industry is meeting compliance. Unlike other sectors, technology is highly regulated because it introduces more complexity and a high barrier of entry compared to other sectors. What makes matters worse is that these data privacy regulations constantly evolve, making operating steadily more challenging. Cybersecurity experts have vast knowledge and expertise to help build a robust data privacy and security foundation to stay ahead of privacy laws.

These professionals can also implement security controls and upgrade legacy systems so that tech companies can remain ahead of technological advancements, changing security and regulatory risks. This increasing demand for cybersecurity experts can be advantageous on your part, and those armed with advanced degrees will be well placed to take on a number of roles in the industry. Some of these pay very lucratively, as highlighted in St Bonaventure University’s master’s in cybersecurity salary article. SBU offers an online master’s in cybersecurity which provides students with the tools to pursue these cutting-edge jobs.

This is because leading academic institutions will teach you the complexities of forensic data and cybercrimes, the foundation of machine learning, various data mining techniques and how to respond to potential breaches as they occur. In some circumstances, you will also obtain the appropriate industry certifications and clearances to provide further background to specific topics. This is especially critical since every tech company needs someone responsible for designing and applying secure network solutions to protect against hackers and persistent threats.

Cybersecurity challenges are inevitable in the technology sector. Therefore, organizations must remain proactive in maintaining robust security protocols and achieving compliance with evolving security regulations. 

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