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2014: Great risks, greater responsibilities

The need for advanced security is heightened further as we witness the transition to the third platform of computing, says Art Coviello, Executive Vice President EMC, Executive Chairman RSA.

From the emergence of memory-only and other short-term malware to Bitcoin hysteria to greater threat information sharing between companies and industries, 2014 will be another interesting year for security.

The need for advanced security is heightened further as we witness the transition to the third platform of computing as defined by IDC, driven by the emergence of cloud, big data and social technologies. The third platform has matured rapidly since its emergence. 2013 was no exception. Adoption of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has grown significantly and that growth continues to accelerate. Adoption of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is on a similar growth trajectory. Increasingly, businesses are demanding access to business applications on their mobile devices as the office becomes more and more virtual.

Against, this context, Coviello highlights the top five predictions for security in 2014:

 

  • BYOD is a thing of 2013. The new thing is BYOI – One of the interesting trends of the third platform has been the consumerisation of IT as companies have given employees greater latitude in accessing corporate resources and data via their own personal devices (BYOD). The next evolution of this trend will be the consumerisation of ID or identity as employees increasingly push for a simpler, more integrated system of identification for all of the ways they use their devices. Identity will be less entrusted to third parties and increasingly be something closely held and managed by individuals – as closely as they hold their own devices. 2014 will be the dawn of Bring (and control) Your Own Identity (BYOI).

 

  • The return of the insider threat– The insider threat is an issue that seems to rise and fall like fashion in our collective consciousness. The events of the past year have brought the issue front and center once again in a powerful way. In 2014, we will see companies pay greater attention to the insider threat and take steps to protect themselves from the risk of substantial damage to revenue, brand and even business continuity.

 

  • The future is cloudy– Expect both public and private cloud providers to aggressively address the security of their clouds as a competitive differentiator and to stave off advancing threats to their business. Providers of cloud security should have a banner year in 2014.

 

  • 2014 is the tipping point year of mobile malware– As businesses provide greater mobile access to critical business applications and sensitive data and consumers increasingly adopt mobile banking, it is easy to see that mobile malware will rapidly grow in sophistication and ubiquity in 2014. We’ve already seen a strong uptake in both over the past few months and expect this is just the beginning of a huge wave. We will see some high-profile mobile breaches before companies and consumers realise the risk and take appropriate steps to mitigate it. Interestingly, the Economist recently featured an article suggesting such fears were overblown. Probably a good idea to be ready just the same.

 

  • The Internet of Things– The hacking target of tomorrow is the Internet of Things or the growing network of devices that sense and control real-world systems. From cars to medical devices to smart electrical grids, we will see an increasing number and growing sophistication of attacks on the Internet of Things. We will see more attacks that have truly destructive – as opposed to disruptive – power.

 

While there are certainly significant challenges ahead of us, my conversations with our customers, partners, and industry peers leave me more confident than ever in our ability to meet those challenges head on. All in all, it’s the industry’s growing adoption of an Intelligence-Driven Security model, leveraging Big Data, in-depth analytics and dynamic, integrated controls to provide contextually-aware security, that is enabling companies to effectively address  the challenges they can see today and those still beyond the horizon that does give me confidence.

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