The massive security breach last month that affected government agencies and an estimated 18,000 companies has put cybersecurity in the forefront for many of us. More broadly, cybersecurity is playing an important role in the transition of knowledge workers to remote environments, as the needs of companies looking to secure those workforces change. With that in mind, Coleman recently reached out to over 120 of our top experts in cybersecurity to get their thoughts on the outlook for 2021.
The Lay of the Land from Key Expert Groups
- Cybersecurity customers. We tapped our network of CISOs, CIOs, CTOs, and other decision-makers for insights on cybersecurity purchasing in 2021. Customers were clear that the shift to cloud services and protection continues to be important, and these areas are poised for more upside. The biggest area of growth according to the SVP of IS/IT Strategy & Development at a diversified bank holding company will be, “protection in the cloud, specifically for services, containers and with 3rd parties.”
- Channel Partners. Major VARs, Integrators, and MSSPs were asked to name some of the best and worst positioned vendors in the space as we begin 2021. Two companies jumped out as being best positioned for growth: Palo Alto Networks and CrowdStrike. For vendors that were identified as needing significant help, many firms were mentioned, but CheckPoint and Symantec/Broadcom were cited most frequently. “[A]ny vendor who cannot align with Supply Chain Vulnerabilities / Validation will have a harder go of the 1H of 2021”, according to the Information Security Officer of Critical Start LLC, a $100M+ security integrator.
- Vendors and competitors. Sophisticated attacks are on top of mind among cybersecurity experts in sales/marketing/business development and technical roles at leading vendors. According to the Field Chief Technology Officer at a privileged access management (PAM) security software company, “[f]rom a tooling point of view, I think the rise of AI in both offensive and defensive approach[,]” will be the most important trend in 2021.
Learn which players to watch in 6 sub-sectors of Cybersecurity.
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More Remote Work Will Drive Cybersecurity Needs
The shift to remote work driven by the Covid-19 pandemic continues. This shift brings increased cybersecurity risks, and to assess them we asked customers whether their cybersecurity needs had changed given the shift to remote work. About 4/5ths of experts said that their cybersecurity needs had changed. While we were given many suggestions of the tools needed to secure remote workforces, including endpoint protection, one common theme among many of our experts was Zero Trust Architecture. According to the Chief Information Security Officer at a leading online travel agency, “[w]e need to ensure that all of our security tools run from the cloud and can secure employee endpoints as long as they have internet access.
This points to the need to support zero trust and BYOD for cloud-based systems.” That said, some concerns were raised about whether investments in cybersecurity would really be increased to meet these new needs, as the Vice President Information Security at an electronics company said, “I believe there will be push back by executives and boards on how much is spent on security. They are feeling tool fatigue.”
Which companies are best positioned to capitalize on these trends?
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The full report includes more insights on what 2021 has in store for cybersecurity, according to our top experts. In many respects, perspectives on cybersecurity can shed light on the broader world of remote work, due to the need to secure work done remotely.
Please let us know if you’d like to gain additional insights with any of the experts we interviewed on these topics (or others) through 1:1 consultations, quantitative surveys, or hosted events. As with most sectors, it is important to consider different angles to gain a fuller 360-degree view. In cybersecurity, as with any sector, it is important to consider different angles to get the full picture.