It has been just about a decade since cloud technologies arrived, and we are in a phase of fast adoption, with cloud-specific spending expected to rise by more than six times the rate of general IT spending through 2020 (McKinsey).
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New technology applications, including artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, the Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing, are driving this adoption with new ones coming in rapid cycles. This ongoing movement to the cloud and new cloud-based technologies is not only a boom but a magnet for cyber threats and nefarious actors. New waves of technology, a growing cloud base and the radical geopolitical scene of 2020 are poised to threaten nations, industries, organizations and even individuals inadvertently.
Unfortunately, many companies are ill-prepared for these threats, relying on security practices and baselines that are all over the map. For organizations relying on poor, outdated and inadequate IT systems—systems that are rarely updated and barely protected—the risk of cyber attack is higher than ever.
Threat actors watch everything, monitoring businesses 24/7 for vulnerabilities and opportunities to hack. Reports indicate that about 20% of enterprise data is currently cloud-based, a number that will increase leaps and bounds as new cloud-based technologies move into the picture. But while these new technologies have the power to drive transformation and innovation, they also create new opportunities and attack surfaces for threat actors to exploit.
Take, for example, the significant advancements that we’ve seen in quantum computing over the last year. Packed with extraordinary computational power, the application of quantum computing holds untold potential in commercial, research and government use cases. However, this same potential has caught the interest of next-wave hackers that see the possibilities to crack algorithms, encryption and complex cryptographies in a simple matter of seconds.
The industry must continue to be on high alert for signs of these threats, as well as preparing, validating and potentially executing recovery processes. Organizations, from government and financial services to healthcare and even retail, must step up to the cyber threat challenges ahead by putting proactive missions into action. But what threats lurk ahead for our ever-evolving and advancing IT landscape?
In my next piece, part two of “More Cloud, More Hacks,” I will take a look at the risk forecast for 2020—from politics to sports—and what we can do to tackle it head-on.