Digital closed padlocks on world map showing cloud and data security

The Times Are A-Changin’: Three Predictions for the Next Generation of Data Security

As organizations transition their digital infrastructure to cloud environments, new complexities around data security are born. This increasingly diverse data landscape will fundamentally alter cybersecurity in 2023, from the technologies deployed, to the processes followed, to the people leading the charge. By understanding and anticipating these shifts, enterprises can stay competitive and position themselves for long-term innovation and success.

1. Mainframes will begin to be phased out

After years of acting as a keystone technology in enterprise IT systems, 2023 will be the year that organizations begin shifting away from the mainframe in droves. Business leaders are rapidly recognizing that mainframes come with convoluted and rising cost models, while the skills required to maintain them are in short supply. However, their greatest shortcoming lies in predicted security incidents.

While mainframe data has traditionally been air-gapped from unsecured, public-facing networks, the growing pressure to grant third parties easy access to critical business data while facilitating a streamlined digital transactional experience has created new vulnerabilities. Mainframes cannot keep up with changing business needs without simultaneously increasing the chance of a data breach, causing companies to seek out new data storage and processing solutions. Gartner estimates that global spending on public cloud services is projected to increase by 20.7% in 2023, to a total of $591.8 billion. Public and private organizations’ transition from mainframes will be the harbinger of a new trend wherein they fully embrace cloud computing.

2. Widespread cloud adoption will bring data security to the forefront

Currently, most companies’ data environments are a collage of multiple data types (structured, semi-structured, and unstructured) stored within a variety of different locations (on-premise, cloud, and hybrid). This diversity ultimately increases complexities in data security and can be pointed to as a contributing cause for recent years’ increase in data breaches. With so many types of data saved in a wide range of environments, it’s impossible to fully maintain the necessary levels of visibility and controls across the entire data estate.

With a large portion of data going unprotected and unmonitored, we can expect to see a record number of companies hit by fines in 2023, leaving them scrambling to gain control of their data. For many, this means a radical change in thinking. Whereas many organizational leaders have spent years focusing their attention on securing the perimeter through secure edge services and VPN, they will be pivoting to focus on data security and invest in holistic tools that can be deployed across environments. This investment in end-to-end data security solutions will enhance defenses of vulnerable APIs, accelerate migration to the cloud, consolidate cybersecurity efforts, and ultimately provide a layered approach to protection that can defend against modern Gen V and Gen VI attacks.

3. New skills will be in high demand

As companies move away from mainframes to the cloud and refocus on data security, they will find themselves in need of new skill sets within their security teams, leading to the creation of a new leadership role in IT. This position will require deep governance expertise, security and data architecture skills, and the knowledgebase of a database administrator. The right individual will be fully aligned with the company’s cloud computing acceleration timeline and will bring a forward-thinking perspective on innovation, compliance, and security.

In addition to this leadership position, companies will be seeking out security professionals with the operational capabilities to handle the migration to the cloud. Because this shift can lead to a temporary loss of control for many organizations, they will require individuals with extensive experience in cloud adoption and data security, allowing them to anticipate unexpected costs or security issues before they arise. These professionals will prove to be indispensable in 2023 and beyond – studies estimate that the digital skills gap could amount to $8.5 trillion in worldwide lost revenue by 2030. Business leaders must act now to get ahead of this disparity and remain competitive with their workforce.

A new era in cybersecurity begins in the new year

As enterprises transition to the cloud in earnest, the industry will experience fundamental changes in 2023, making it a true watershed moment in data security. Through the right mix of people, processes, and technologies, businesses will gain better visibility and control over their increasingly diverse data environments, bringing about the next generation of cybersecurity.