COVID-19 has dramatically accelerated digital business transformation and cybersecurity challenges. The world has had to make several adjustments to meet according to demand. In a recently released report, Gartner identified their top 8 security and risk management rends for 2021 as they’ve been shaped by the past year and an unprecedented global pandemic.

Research Vice President, Peter Firstbrook, addressed these issues at the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit that took place virtually March 23rd and 24th. According to Firstbrook, “the first challenge is a skills gap. 80% of organizations tell us they have a hard time finding and hiring security professionals and 71% say it’s impacting their ability to deliver security projects within their organizations.”

Below are the top trends Gartner has identified to have significant impact and disruption in the coming year.

Cybersecurity Mesh: The modern security approach has security tools running simultaneously instead of in a silo. It allows security professionals to have better-centralized policy management and orchestration.

Identity-First Security: Coupled with a remote workforce, identity-first security puts identity at the center of security design. This is a more effective way of monitoring authentication to spot attacks.

Security Support for Remote Work is Here to Stay: The majority of employees globally transitioned to remote work overnight, and several organizations have announced they are continuing remote work post COVID-19. With that, better security support for remote work will be vital.

Digital-Savvy Board of Directors: Over the next several years, there will be a greater emphasis on cybersecurity within boards of directors. By 2025, Gartner predicts that 40% of boards will have a dedicated cybersecurity committee, up from 10% today.

Security Vendor Consolidation: 78% of CISOs have 16 or more tools in their cybersecurity vendor portfolio. Over the next year, we will see IT teams consolidate and integrate security products to reduce complexities and costs.

Privacy-Enhancing Computation: Privacy-enhancing computation techniques are designed to secure data processing, sharing, and analytics while it’s being used not just when it’s at rest or in motion.

Breach and Attack Simulation: Organizations of all sizes are deploying breach and attack simulation (BAS) tools to provide defensive assessments of current security practices. In 2021, we will see more organizations using these tools are regular security practices to prevent breaches before they occur.

Managing Machine Identities: Machine identity management establishes and manages trust in the identity of the machine as it interacts with other devices and applications and is becoming a vital part of an organization’s security strategy.