Thales Blog

Time for the crystal ball – What to expect in 2021

February 3, 2021

Ashvin Kamaraju Ashvin Kamaraju | Vice President of Engineering, Strategy & Innovation More About This Author >

In the ancient times, it was the Oracle who predicted the future and advised the Greek kings, like Odysseus, on what to do (although sometimes her advice was vague!). I don’t claim to be an Oracle, neither do I have a magical crystal ball to foresee the future, but based on experience and data, businesses can plan ahead.

In the fourth Thales Security Sessions podcast, Neira Jones asked me to join Troels Oerting, Chairman of the Board of the World Economic Forum's Centre for Cybersecurity (C4C) and discuss what we can expect in 2021 by reviewing 2020.

Everyone can agree that 2020 was a disruptive year. When we were making predictions for that year, none could envision the challenges that we faced. All of a sudden, we were asked to work remotely. Although businesses had already embarked on their digital transformation journey, it was the pandemic that really accelerated that transition, creating new opportunities and new challenges.

How can you run everything online while securing your data and maintaining trust to and with your customers? How can you ensure availability, affordability and convenience of your solutions and at the same time balance with security and safety?

Increased threat surface and the need to comply with a growing number of privacy regulations and sovereignty jurisdictions puts additional pressure on all businesses who will also have to tackle another problem: talent shortage. How can we solve this problem? While educating people seems like the obvious answer to the question, it is “work from anywhere” that presents a more viable opportunity, since businesses can recruit talent from across the world without facing the distance constraints.

As technology evolves, we should expect to see some new trends emerge. Is that going to be deception technology to track, trap and expose attackers? And how will AI and 5G networks change the game? The future will bring many changes and we should expect that everything will be connected, sensed, processed and stored.

However, here lies the biggest challenge: how can we ensure the integrity of digital data? We have focused our efforts on confidentiality and availability and not too much on preserving integrity. The Cambridge Analytica scandal has demonstrated a real threat – hacking opinions.

As Troels said, we are here “not to promote fear, but to protect hope.” Businesses should keep up with strong cybersecurity hygiene, enforce security and privacy processes and invest in their people to become more secure and safe against cyber threats.

2021 is going to be another challenging, yet interesting year. What a great way to reflect and kickstart this year by listening to our Security Sessions podcast, Episode 4: Time for the crystal ball – What to expect in 2021. Enjoy it!