Using innovation as a security game-changer in 2022

Issue 2 2022 Security Services & Risk Management

In 2022, organisations need to break free from the current cybersecurity focus of basing strategies solely on reacting to threats. Moving forward will involve recognising that innovation is our strongest tool to build a secure future – and we need to weave it into every area of our cybersecurity.

It’s time to break the cycle

It’s easy to see how we’ve got here: we’re so dependent on technology and connectivity that the rising tide of threats against them is eating up our attention and resources. Security is in a constant arms race to prevent cyber-attacks from causing ever-greater damage to prosperity, safety, trust and increasingly, the environment. But it’s relentlessly reactive and it’s distracting us from other priorities, like the growing security skills crisis, our collective responsibility to find more sustainable ways of operating and exploring the possibilities of new AI-based technologies. We can’t let this continue.

The good news is that innovation has the power to bring about deep and wide-ranging transformation in security – if we’re open to the possibilities.

My three areas to watch in 2022

1. Innovative uses of automation will transform security

As AI and automation ramps up to enable the processing of massive amounts of data and increasingly intelligent, predictive responses, organisations will recognise its potential and automation will take centre stage in security.

This is a critical shift. Automation is a credible and workable answer to dealing with the increasing volume of cyber threats and it’s essential to keeping pace with cybercriminals who have already made the leap. AI-powered automation can help identify relevant intelligence from the sea of incoming data that threatens to overwhelm the security department, as well as taking on more mundane security tasks. This will free up staff to focus on urgent and high priority threats.

2. Innovation will be essential to bridging the security skills gap

As an industry, we’re openly acknowledging the scarcity of specialised security talent. This year, we need to continue this into definitive action and automation is just one small part of how innovation can help us make the most of the resources we have. We need to go wider, to encourage people to trust that they can hand over parts of their job to innovative, intelligent technologies, unlocking their time and potential to focus on complex and challenging issues. But innovation can go further still, providing new ways for cyber experts to collaborate and work in a hybrid world and offering different techniques for reaching and attracting new recruits into the industry. Innovation, too, can help us bring in more diversity to security, attracting and nurturing young talent wherever we can find it.

3. Innovation will be our route to securing sustainability

There are two sides to this coin. On one side, innovative security is essential to reducing energy usage and wastage – the more cyber-attacks we can tackle at source, the less downtime and ‘friction’ there’ll be across the Internet that wastes energy and resources. On the other side, innovative security has a wider role to play in underpinning a more sustainable society. We need to innovate to defend other emerging innovations, like large-scale renewable energy grids and smart connected infrastructures. And we need consumers to have confidence that new sustainable approaches like electric vehicles will be protected and reliable. To unlock the benefits of innovative sustainability, security must be an enabler – and that means building innovation into our approach.

Let’s make innovation the thread that runs through our cybersecurity in 2022; I firmly believe it’s the key to a robust cyber strategy that’s ready to protect your organisation from evolving and as yet unknown threats.

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