Cybersecurity Council Leaders Discuss Goals and Trends to Watch in 2021

CompTIA’s Cybersecurity Advisory Council leaders were asked about their goals for 2021 and the cyber trends that CompTIA members (and all tech companies) should follow in the new year. Here’s what they said. The recent cyberattack on the U.S. government has shown that no one is immune to bad actors who want to disrupt business and cause damage. Tech companies can do much more to improve our collective cyber resilience and protect governments, businesses, and other organizations. We need more communication, more education, more innovation.
CompTIA’s Cybersecurity Advisory Council was created to stimulate activity in these three areas. It is a new group of thought leaders as well as seasoned cyber executives working together to educate vendors, solution providers and other tech companies about the best practices and protocols for business.
We asked the leaders of the council what their goals for 2021 were and what cyber trends CompTIA members (and all tech companies) should be following in the new year. Here’s what they said.
Goal 1: Educate, Activate
“We will work together within the council to educate and empower the channel and our customers. If we want to protect our customers, companies, and industry reputations, we recognize the need for industry-wide improvements. The council will expand its outreach with the primary purpose of changing collective behavior to decrease attacks and their associated negative effects on the channel and their clients.” – Tracy Holtz (Director of Security Solutions at Tech Data) and cochair of the Cybersecurity Advisory Council
Goal 2: Reinvigorate, Collaborate
“The council will help to revive the cybersecurity dialogue within channel to get focussed on the things that can really make a difference. We will encourage and support community collaboration to find solutions for the ever-growing cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Our actions will spark critical public policy debate and encourage positive changes. Our industry’s safety depends on cyber defense.” – Kevin Nikkhoo CEO, XeneX and vice-chair of Cybersecurity Advisory Council.
Goal 3: Inspire, Empower
“One of our key initiatives is to continue working to inspire the sustained attention and focused action of the boards of directors, investors, and other executive leaders of all businesses. We want to help them reorient their priorities towards cyber defense strategies that work. We will help them become more efficient and invested in making positive improvements in the cyber security of their customers and companies. We want to eliminate the need for technical knowledge by providing easy-to-use information and asking questions. We will be that reassuring voice that assures them that they are doing the right thing. We will support them in reaching their own conclusions. We want them to trust in the defenses their organizations, employees and stockholders.
Trend 1: The 2020 Attacks on Fallout will Continue
“As we saw with the SolarWinds Orion disaster, even highly trusted mainstream applications are at risk. We are only beginning to see the extent and depth of the subsequent attacks. FireEye’s compromise and theft of their tools could also have long-lasting effects as they are used against companies that are unaware of the issues or unable to remedy them. IT departments will need to find a better way for them to monitor the watchers. There will be more distrust. There will be more discussion and more actions about supply chain risk. They will have an impact on existing and new business relationships, and provide opportunities for the channel to understand the negative effects.” – Nikkhoo
Trend 2: Business Email Compromises Accelerate
“Business email compromise attacks have increased significantly in 2020 and show no signs of slowing down. They will likely continue to increase in frequency and amount. I predict that we will continue to see both Covid-19 as well as political campaign and action pushes. It will take additional efforts to educate and support the public in adding controls.” – Holtz
Trend 3: Ransomware grows, splinters, and plagues all businesses
“Ransomware will continue its plague on businesses and become a more common threat that everyone in this channel must address in some capacity. Alvaka has done remediation work on a near constant stream of new clients over the past two years.