Coordinated leadership is key to tackling evolving cyber threats, says new report

BY Fraser Tennant

Coordinated leadership can help guide organisations to safety amid an evolving and increasingly complex cyber threat landscape, according to a new report by FireEye.

In ‘Facing Forward: Cyber Security in 2019 and Beyond’, FireEye provides insight into what to expect from attackers, victim organisations, security vendors and nation-states in 2019. It forecasts that the main trends that will impact cyber security are more nation-state offensive activities, no risks or rules of engagement for attackers and a lack of security resources.

“We expect to see more nations developing offensive cyber capabilities,” said Kevin Mandia, chief executive of FireEye. “There are people that claim nations should not do this, but in the halls of most governments around the world, officials are likely thinking their nation needs to consider offensive operations or they will be at a disadvantage.

“We are also seeing deteriorating rules of engagement between state actors in cyber space,” he continued. “We have a whole global community that is entirely uncertain as to what will happen next and that is not a comfortable place to be.”

Additional insights in the report include: (i) how the cyber threat landscape will evolve as organisations continue to move their data to the cloud; (ii) why security for the cloud requires a different approach than on-premises; (iii) why nations will be seeking to develop offensive capabilities; (iv) what types of security technology will best help defenders; and (v) how organisations are struggling with a shortage of skilled security professionals.  

And it is this shortage of skilled personnel which is a particularly acute problem. “Many organisations – from small to medium-sized businesses to big companies – are simply unable to build the security programmes required to cope with today’s threat landscape,” said Mr Mandia. “If smaller companies end up getting compromised, the supply chain will be compromised, and that results in a backdoor into larger enterprises with mature security programmes.”

Mr Mandia concluded: “When cyber attacks can – and do – come more often, and from every direction, it takes coordinated leadership to guide an organisation to safety. These are the struggles we are seeing and we must start addressing them in the year ahead.”

Report: Facing Forward: Cyber Security in 2019 and Beyond

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