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Feb 6, 2019

SIA 2019 Security Megatrends 3 & 4 – What You Need to Know

This post, we are doing a deeper dive into SIA’s 2019 Security Megatrends 3 and 4. Let’s begin with Megatrend 3 …

Megatrend 3 – Is Security Keeping up with Cloud Computing?
Are cloud computing and security on par? The short answer is no, at least according to widely held perceptions. The residential and consumer markets have faith in cloud security, especially since they’re more focused on the cloud’s unparalleled convenience and ease of use; however, on the commercial front, possibly because there’s more at stake, businesses are skeptical.

The SIA’s 2019 Security Megatrends report quotes Harry Regan, the Vice President of Securicon, as saying, “Everyone thought the cloud would be more secure, and it wasn’t. That reality and some of the data have kind of made some chief information officers a little gun shy of new things.”

They have several reasons to worry about cloud computing and security:

  • There’s a lack of regulatory compliance standards, which is not acceptable to high-risk and government users and prevents further adoption.
  • They’re not sure how and if it’s possible to ensure privacy by permanently segmenting and removing some customers’ data.
  • There could be an about-face. If cloud computing loses favor as a safe method of security management, companies will seek other solutions.

Despite the perception, many respected companies trust in the cloud. Without the cloud, digital driven Netflix, Pinterest, Dropbox and so many others contend that they couldn’t operate their business models as efficiently or as securely. Physical security continues to move to the cloud model as well, migrating to SaaS, cloud computing and managed services. These entities are attracted to its convenience, scalability, safeguards, efficiencies and other benefits.

By 2022, IHS Market predicts, the global off-premises cloud service market revenue will reach $414 billion. If the cloud is not secure, this will pose astronomical cybersecurity issues.

Will Edge Computing Edge Out the Cloud?
In recent years, edge computing has become more popular due to new generations of technology and increased flexibility. Edge computing refers to a distributed computing model where the large majority of computations are made on nodes like smart devices, IoT or edge devices, versus the centralized cloud. They are so named because of their proximity to an enterprise, metropolitan or other network, not the cloud. Since the server resources, AI and data analysis are closer to the data collection source, edge computing helps platforms like smart cities, ubiquitous computing and physical computing as well as applications like AR, cloud gaming and the IoT.

What at first seems like the antithesis to the centralized distribution of the cloud may actually be a synergistic force. The SIA report predicts that cloud computing and edge computing will develop concurrently and synergistically, since cloud services will be managed on centralized servers as well as in distributed servers on premises and also on edge devices, which are growing more stable and reliable.

Only the future can tell which way cloud and edge computing will grow.

Megatrend 4 – The Security Skills Shortage and 5 Ways to Overcome It:
The challenges of workforce development and finding skilled security professionals at every level is a new trend for the report, but it’s no less important, especially since it clocks in at number four.

The overall job unemployment rate is at an all-time low, so this troubling security skills shortage trend is an anomaly. Even though security is a high-tech industry, it’s not always recognized as such or give that cache. Add in the relatively new fields of cybersecurity, AI and privacy expertise to the traditional IT and networking skillset, and it becomes even harder to find the right people.

According to the SIA report, filling the pipeline with younger workers may be the key to counteracting this dilemma. Most importantly, the industry needs to re-frame its image as progressive, innovative and IT-centric to make it imminently more attractive to job seekers.

Five Ways to Overcome the Deficit:
Provide Big Picture Benefits: Security jobs must promise work-life balance and the potential for growth that other industries are offering.

Leverage AI: Your HR team can use AI to screen candidates, automate interview scheduling and even ensure constant contact throughout the hiring process.

Try the Gig Economy: This model is thriving, and is a great source of talented workers that can be tapped long term or even temporarily.

Partner with local colleges and technical schools: You’re the experts in your field. Share this knowledge with schools by providing lecturers so you can engage new talent first hand.

Start at the Beginning: Focus on entry-level positions and then increase expertise with in-house training to ensure that their training is current and applicable.

These two trends will make a big impact on the security market this year. Both suffer from perception issues. It remains to be seen whether they can be readily addressed to pave the way towards both greater cloud adoption and greater security workforce numbers.