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The champagne flutes have been put away, and the last Christmas ornaments are boxed up. 2022 is officially in the rearview mirror, and all eyes are on 2023 and its opportunities and challenges. Let’s look at areas where we expect to see growth and headlines in the cybersecurity arena. We can tease out some of the trends by looking back at 2022.

Government Regulation

From PHI to personal privacy, governments across the world are putting a higher premium on safeguarding privacy. In 2020, Gartner Inc. predicted that by this year, “65 percent of the world’s population will have personal data covered under modern privacy regulations, up from 10 percent in 2020.” In addition to countries, there are a slew of states and even municipalities and local governments enacting privacy regulations.

“All of this adds up to a lot more rules and regulations that MSPs will have to follow or risk a fine or reprimand, so it will be more important than ever to keep on top of local legislation,” says Reed Walters, a cybersecurity consultant in Minneapolis, Minn. But Walters and others predict a continued muscular response from the government for cybersecurity.

Supply Chain Attacks Continue

Simply knowing your vendors used to be enough, but now you must know not only your vendors, but their vendors, too. A hacker’s job is to find the weak points, and the supply chain often provides that link.

“And if the weak point is the dry cleaner that presses the suits for the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, the hacker will try to find their way in through the more poorly defended dry cleaner,” Walters warns.

So MSPs will have to familiarize themselves continually with the entire ecosystem that their clients are a part of. A vulnerability with six degrees of separation can still haunt them.

IoT Resumes its Growth

The pandemic caused a slowdown in the massive IoT growth, but as COVID continues to fade into the background, IoT growth will resume. Market Research shows that worldwide spending on IoT will reach $1.1 trillion this year compared to $749 billion in 2020.

Look for explosive growth in health wearables, smart homes, and smart offices. Autonomous vehicles and robots will also continue to make their presence felt across the spectrum.

“Any device that can be connected will get connected, and this opens up a whole new world, especially with 5G rolling out,” Walters explains. “Still, all these new connected devices will also mean new vectors and attack surfaces for MSPs to defend, so security professionals will need to constantly update inventory and audit to account for different connected devices.”

Talent Shortage

IT decision-makers agree that the talent shortage will continue to plague all verticals in 2023.

Nearly 74 percent believe the data and analytics industry needs more talent, according to recent survey findings released by Adastra. Respondents working in the information technology vertical were even more convinced about the talent shortage, with 79 percent in agreement. “Humans are still the best defense against hackers and cybercriminals, and lacking talent is a cybersecurity risk. Would you rather have a money-filled bank vault guarded by two guards or 10? Ten is optimum, but the industry is more at a 2-guard stance now,” Walters says.

The talent shortage is only slated to get worse. “Benefits packages and vacation days have not traditionally been viewed as a cybersecurity issue, but MSPs are going to have to vie for talent in a shrinking pool, so it will often come down to intangibles,” Walters shares.

State-Sponsored Events

With the Russia and Ukraine conflict still raging, the changes in attacks on western infrastructure targets remain real, especially in critical sectors.

“But other countries not involved in that conflict may use the Russian events as a `distraction’ to try to launch criminal activity of their own,” Walters warns, so that is something everyone needs to watch.

Of course, these aren’t the only five areas to look for. 5G will continue its roll-out, quantum computing will continue to emerge and other threats that probably aren’t on anyone’s radar now. Buckle up, 2023 will not be dull!

Photo: Peera_stockfoto / Shutterstock


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Posted by Kevin Williams

Kevin Williams is a journalist based in Ohio. Williams has written for a variety of publications including the Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, National Geographic and others. He first wrote about the online world in its nascent stages for the now defunct “Online Access” Magazine in the mid-90s.

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