16 Tech Experts Predict The ‘Next Big Thing’ In Encryption And Cybersecurity

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Expert Panel | forbes.com

With the growth in remote work and e-commerce, encryption and cybersecurity—always hot-button tech issues—are even hotter than ever. Tools and best practices in these areas are constantly evolving to help businesses and consumers guard against the next big data hack.

As industry leaders, the members of Forbes Technology Council keep an eye on the latest tech trends. Below, 16 members detail their predictions on the next big news item in the areas of encryption and cybersecurity.

1. Increasing Use Of Biometrics For Security

It’s often said there are two types of organizations: those that have been hacked and those that don’t realize they have been hacked. In the current environment encryption and cybersecurity have an important role to play in safeguarding the operations of all organizations. I expect the next big news items will involve increasing the use of biometrics and solutions that are extremely easy to use. – Steven Power, RollKall

2. Natural User Interfaces

As the next generation of machine learning technologies like conversational artificial intelligence and computer vision mature, cybersecurity and encryption will increasingly need to work with “natural user interfaces” such as voice- and image-based authentication. Soon, secure and interoperable standards to enroll, authenticate and authorize “natural interface” users will need to be developed and deployed. – Mudit Jain, VinBrain LLC

3. Long-Term Security Planning

Trust and data privacy are core to any private enterprise or government organization. Having the right encryption or cybersecurity technology platform is only part of the solution—implementing and executing the right security measures, defining the policies and frameworks, ongoing governance, and clarity on long-term roadmaps and strategies will be key. – Vamsi Gosu, TechForce Services

4. New AI Threats

Technology innovation is happening faster now than ever. As AI becomes more prevalent in every application, cybersecurity will become a deeper threat. Attention will shift to security-focused AI that can predictively manage threats and remediate them without the interaction of others. Encryption will need to continue to grow in a secure fashion due to technologies like quantum computing. – Van Richardson, iManage

5. Protecting The Security Of Remote Workers

Remote work is accelerating the “consumerization” of enterprise, as employees demand more and better tools to work remotely. Security teams, meanwhile, have to contend with a massively increased security perimeter. The challenge for them is protecting the privacy and security of distributed employees while fostering openness towards new ways of working. – Jennifer Smith, Scribe by Cursive

6. More Responsibility Placed On Cloud Providers

Will a deeper move to the cloud negate instances of payment fraud, ransomware, hijacking, etc? Services such as Office 365, Windows Virtual Desktop, Google Drive, etc. move the burden from the individual to the cloud provider. It is the cloud provider’s reputation on the line, and they will take all necessary steps to enforce consumer protection. Just like hackers, consumers often find other ways. – William Diggin, Accenture

7. Data Veracity

One big area will be data veracity, which entails not just securing and encrypting but “trusting” the data. Information overload and truly big data are causing confusion and lack of trust. Platforms focused on curating and maintaining trusted data will need to be developed and certified. – Dave Padmos, EY

8. Widespread Zero-Trust Adoption

I think it is time for zero-trust to take center stage. Just as remote work was before the coronavirus pandemic, zero-trust has been seen by most people as a solution in search of a problem—even as a luxury. There are real-world needs to make the abstract real in real time. With massive dissociated mini-networks, federated security approaches can’t keep up, and we need something secure and flexible. Zero-trust fits that bill. – Eric Velte, ASRC Federal

9. A Standard Universal Encryption System

I believe we may see a shift to the development of a universal encryption system that will ultimately be integrated into all solutions in the future. With decentralization, it won’t overburden servers, and it will allow the globalization of current markets. In general, encryption is likely to shift to quantum computation as e-commerce faces increasing integration of blockchain technology. – Nadya Knysh, a1qa

10. Secure Access Service Edge

To me, the biggest thing in cybersecurity at the moment is SASE. While most current SASE implementation doesn’t quite live up to the hype, the principle is still sound: converging software-defined networking with cybersecurity. I expect SASE to replace many different networking and security solutions, including SD-WAN and MPLS, firewalls, VPNs, CASB, and beyond. – Adi Ruppin, Ananda Networks

11. Privacy As A Service

Companies were already struggling with email phishing, and the move to remote work has added many more new channels through which employees can be attacked. We see companies investing heavily in techniques like confidential computing and polymorphic encryption without the internal expertise to do so. As a result, encryption and privacy as a service are going to be huge trends in 2021. – Anshu Sharma, Skyflow

12. Cryptology

Cryptology has been a hot-button issue between the intelligence and law-enforcement communities that want less of it and the businesses and privacy advocates that want to see more of it, without government-mandated back doors or other imposed weaknesses. With privacy legislation becoming more common, it seems likely we’ll see another fight develop over the issue of cryptology and secure communications. – Saryu Nayyar, Gurucul

13. Greater Data Access Control

In the post-perimeter world, organizations are shifting their cybersecurity measures to focus on protecting people and data and the relationship between them—in other words, who has access to what data. Controlling who has the authorization to access encrypted resources—regardless of whether they are human or machine identities—will be critical, especially in the cloud. – Shai Morag, Ermetic

14. Behavior-Based AI

Unfortunately, cyber breaches will only get bigger and louder. Threat actors will continue to use tricks as simple as leveraging user credentials collected in past breaches of public consumer sites (for instance, LinkedIn, breached in 2012) and applying those credentials to get into an employer’s private cloud. The only way to spot this is to use behavior-based AI. And we’ve got to keep changing passwords! – Patrick Ostiguy, Accedian

15. Data-In-Use Protection

Encryption is used to protect sensitive data, but it often fails when protecting data-in-use because it doesn’t support the necessary performance requirements. Consider performing analytics on a big data set. I anticipate that beyond the current options of encrypted data-in-use with low performance and clear text data-in-use with high performance, we’ll see a form of obfuscation as a middle ground. – Caroline Wong, Cobalt.io

16. Rapid Growth Of Open Security Positions And Salaries

Security attacks are on the rise amidst the growth in remote work, especially since many companies rushed short-term fixes to get the infrastructure in place. In 2021, the tech industry will be hungry for more permanent solutions to keep employees and their technology safe online. We’ll see surges in demand (and salaries) for security professionals to set up more effective systems and replace current band-aids. – Vivek Ravisankar, HackerRank

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