Once a Threat, Now a Strategy: Top Takeaways from 2021 for IT Leaders

2021 was a year of change for IT and cybersecurity leaders.  IT leaders should review last year’s successes and failures, and adjust their strategies to keep pace with risks and trends in 2022. Here are the top 3 takeaways from 2021.

2021, like 2020, brought major changes to the IT and cybersecurity landscapes. Sophisticated cyber attacks, the ongoing pandemic, supply chain risks, and the Great Resignation became the new norm. IT departments had to keep up with digital transformation, manage the IT skills gap, and implement remote and hybrid work options— while contending with persistent threat actors.

The cyber landscape continues to evolve at a fever pitch, and business leaders predict IT risk and vulnerabilities to be the biggest threat to corporate growth over the next decade. As CIOs and CISOs look to the future, they should their learnings from 2021. Here are our top three:

1. Data protection is key.

As 2022 gets underway, cyber attacks continue to rise— and businesses’ most valuable commodity, data, remains at risk. Businesses in all industries must implement policies, procedures, processes, and tools to secure information (and customers’, employees’, and partners’ trust). Best practices include data classification, encryption, incident response planning, monitoring solutions, and privacy enhancing technologies.

2. It’s not just data that cyber criminals are after.

Instead, hackers are wreaking havoc on electric and gas utilities, hospitals, manufacturing plants, pipelines, and water supply centers. These cyber attacks not only result in data loss, but, alarmingly, disrupt industrial processes and lead to physical harm. Critical infrastructure providers, such as healthcare organizations, manufacturers, and utilities, must find ways to improve security and cyber resiliency if they are to survive in 2022.

3. Technology is only as effective as the staff who use it.

80% of IT leaders estimate that gaps in knowledge and skills among IT staff affect critical business areas, including cybersecurity. Moving forward, CIOs, CISOs, and other IT and security leaders must prioritize investments in talent, engaging experts in automation, forensics, incident response, and security analysis before implementing sophisticated data analytics, forensics, and SIEM tools.

To stay ahead of threat actors and support business goals, CIOs and CISOs must modernize their approach and ensure they have the right resources in place to prevent cyber incidents, mitigate risks, and remediate vulnerabilities. For a free consultation on your 2022 cybersecurity strategy, contact Securance today.