Gartner Lists Seven Cybersecurity Trends for 2022

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The roles of CISOs must move from technologists who prevent breaches to business strategists who manage cyber risk. Unfortunately, the career growth of CISOs is slowing due to security technology stacks not designed for new digital transformation, virtualization and hybrid cloud initiatives in their companies. Gartner’s recently published top security and risk management trends for 2022 explain where the most vulnerable holes in the security stack lie.

The seven trends also help explain the many challenges CISOs face as they shift their cybersecurity careers and spending from tactics to strategic roles. Implicit in these trends is the urgent need to view cybersecurity as a business decision. Taken together from the standpoint of enterprises targeting new digital initiatives, the seven trends clearly show that cybersecurity should be a business enabler first and foremost. The two trending proof points of cybersecurity’s business value are decentralized decision-making and faster response times to business challenges.

Responding to threats is what enterprises and their CISOs need the most help with today. As a result, Gartner chose to organize their trends and assign most of them to threat response. That’s a clear indication that their corporate clients are focused in this area and are looking for guidance. Expansion of attack surface, detection and response of identity threats, and digital supply chain risk are the three trends Gartner believes are most important for threat response.

Rethinking Technology is the second strategic trend, including Vendor Consolidation and Cybersecurity Mesh. The third strategic trend is Reframing The Cybersecurity Practice. Gartner adds Distribution Decisions and Beyond Awareness to this group.

Taken together, Gartner’s trends provide a high-level cybersecurity roadmap for any enterprise to follow. Best of all, it starts by closing the gaps in existing security technology stacks at their most vulnerable breakpoints. These include identity access management (IAM), privileged access management (PAM), and mitigating threats to digital supply chains.

Translating the seven trends into a strategic roadmap yields the following:

Roadmap phase 1: Responding to threats

Expansion of attack surface Identity threat detection and response Digital supply chain risk

Step-by-step plan phase 2: A new view on technology

Supplier consolidation Cybersecurity mesh

Step-by-step plan phase 3: Reframing the practice

Spreading Decisions Beyond Consciousness

What the trends mean for CISOs

The more adept a security stack becomes at managing risk and supporting new businesses, the greater the potential career growth for CISOs. But unfortunately, legacy systems not only hold back companies from growing, but also careers. Today, speed and time-to-market are compressed in all digital business initiatives and new ventures. That is the catalyst for the urgency behind the seven trends.

The trends mean the following for CISOs today:

Decentralized cybersecurity is an asset. Moving away from centralized cybersecurity and adopting a more decentralized organization and supporting tech stack increases an organization’s speed, responsiveness and adaptability to new business ventures. Centralized cybersecurity is a bottleneck that limits the progress of new initiatives and limits the careers of those who manage them, usually CISOs. Cybersecurity needs extreme ownership. The hardest part of any CISO’s job is getting the thousands of employees in their organizations to follow cybersecurity hygiene. Authoritarian approaches and continuous virtual learning programs are limited in effectiveness, as evidenced by the record ransomware intrusions in 2021 and this year. CISOs must take on change management to create extreme ownership of the results by employees. Finding new ways to reward cybersecurity ownership and good security hygiene are essential. The best-selling book, Extreme Ownership, is an excellent book that CISOs and their teams should consider this year when it comes to leadership and change management. Attack surfaces are just getting started. It’s a safe bet that the number, complexity and challenges of managing multiple threat surfaces will only grow. CISOs and their teams must anticipate and secure their digital supply chains, especially in their key DevOps process areas. Getting IAM and PAM right is also essential, as the Identity Threat Detection and Response trend explains.

CISOs: Find New Ways to Add Value

Getting bogged down in security tactics puts businesses and careers at risk. Instead, focus on making cyber risk a business and organizational risk first. Only then can CISOs transform their organization to be more of an enabler and accelerator of new products and not a roadblock to new revenue. Most importantly, CISOs look at the trends through the lens of how to build stronger relationships outside of IT. Starting with other C-level executives, board members with a specific focus on the CRO and CMO take center stage. The two executives most responsible for revenue also make the riskiest decisions for a company. Seeing how cybersecurity can manage risk is a great way to grow a business and career.

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